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Fireflies are the one thing I miss here in the PNW. I grew up with them. Lightning bugs, they are also called… They’re a beetle of the order Coleoptera, and flash with light to attract mates

When it starts to get dark, late in the day as the afternoon turns to evening, when the sun has fallen into the trees to the west and the tiny clouds begin to blush, as the shadows gather in trees and bushes and by the house and arbor, little lights appear. They move around the yard, sometimes very still, sometimes very quickly, more and more as the twilight deepens.

Little children chase them, for the joy of holding one on your hand to see its little tail pulse with light. …and then fly to join the others, swirling about with small breezes in the humid dark.

“The stars get tired and fall from the sky and when they want to go home again, they have to practice to get it right.” My grandfather told me that when I was sitting in his lap under the sycamore tree on a muggy summer evening. I’ve never forgotten the wonder of it.


Fireflies in south Georgia, U.S., at the Butler Island Plantation. This is an 8-second exposure, with some fireflies flashing five or six times in that period. (the horizontal one above the building is an airplane.) Date – 20 April 2017, Author – Jud McCranie Licensing – I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publish it under the following licenses: w:en:Creative Commons. attribution share alike This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. You are free: to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work to remix – to adapt the work Under the following conditions: attribution – You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. share alike – If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same or compatible license as the original. GNU head – Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.

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Page created and published 2/19/22 (C) M. Bartlett
Last updated 2/19/22


日本語: 水野年方「三十六佳撰」より『螢狩 天明頃婦人』1891年 – Hotarugari, Firefly Catching, by Mizuno Toshikata. Ukiyoe, Japanese woodblock print, 1891. Catching Fireflies: Women of the Tenmei Era[1781-89] (Hotaru-gari, Tenmei koro fujin), from the series Thirty-six Elegant Selections (Sanjûroku kasen) 日本語: 明治24年出版, Published in 1891, Source – MFA Author – Toshikata Mizuno (1866–1908) Blue pencil.svg wikidata:Q3532621 Licensing This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. The work of art itself is in the public domain in its source country for the following reason: Public domain – According to Japanese Copyright Law (June 1, 2018 grant) the copyright on this work has expired and is as such public domain. According to articles 51, 52, 53 and 57 of the copyright laws of Japan, under the jurisdiction of the Government of Japan works enter the public domain 50 years after the death of the creator (there being multiple creators, the creator who dies last) or 50 years after publication for anonymous or pseudonymous authors or for works whose copyright holder is an organization. Public domain – The author died in 1908, so this work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or fewer.