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Thursday, June 13, 2013



A blog/Facebook friend recently commented that she just saw Fireflies for the first time in her life.  This friend has moved in the last few years from England, to California, and then to Arkansas. 

Fireflies are so common here in the Northeast; it was hard to imagine that anyone has never seen them.   Then I remembered the first time I saw “lightning bugs.”  I lived in Southern California from age 4 to 8.  When we moved back east my first firefly sighting was exciting. 

We captured them and put them in a jar with holes punched in the cap to create a living flashlight.  I think we later released them but I don’t remember…let’s just say that we did.  The sight of thousands of fireflies in the trees at night is a truly spectacular sight that we often take for granted.

How many other marvels of nature do we gloss over until someone points them out?  When I returned “back east” at eight years old, I also remember my first serious snow fall.  People often dread the snow.  I still am fascinated by it.  A good snow storm makes me feel young again.  I go right back to those days of listening to WOR and John Gambling, praying to hear that my school was closed for the day.  I love to look out at the street light at night during a big storm and watch the snow fall while I am safe and warm inside.  It is hard to imagine that some people have never experienced snow.

There is so much in life that I have not seen.  The Aurora Borealis, an eclipse of the Sun, elephants in the wild, a painted bunting, a Super Bowl Game from the fifty yard line, a wood duck, and lately my toes in the shower.  Sometimes we need to stop and enjoy the wonders we do get to experience every year that many people only dream about. 

Like a good snow fall in January.


Fireflies in June.  


  1. I grew up in Oklahoma where there were lots of lightning bugs...always fun in the summer. None of those in Colorado, but I still appreciate watching a good snowstorm here. Now you have me thinking about things I will never see. :)

  2. Cool post Joe. I, too, like lightning bugs, and remember showing them to my kids for the first time. I was as amused by them as they were of the fireflies.

    Same with snow...I like it. In Texas it's a novelty, and I always have high hopes in October that winter will bring us some white stuff. This past year my enthusiasm turned to disappointment in March when it became obvious we would have none. :(


  3. I love a good snowfall - it completely fascinates me, I can watch for hours. I'm also lucky enough to have seen 2 eclipses of the sun, one in Australia when I was a child and the other here in the UK just a few years ago - it's a weird and wonderful experience. Seeing the seals in Newquay harbour a couple of weeks ago was amazing, I'd love to see fire flies though.

  4. You sure are right about taking things for granted. I was recently in a city in Northern India where grown adults as old as sixty have never seen rain. It's hard to imagine. Have a great day.

  5. Great post Joe. Fireflies and snow, I love seeing both. (Moderation in the latter is always appreciated.)

  6. well, there you go again getting m'thinking juices going.

    nature is my go to thing. evening time on the front porch watching lightning bugs flit was one of my best things to do. loved to smell and hear the splat of a fat raindrop hitting the dirt in the summertime.

    my g'ma rocking in her rocking chair on the front porch shelling peas saying … lawsy... lawsy… lawsy pete.

    Each and every time the cynical me says … I've been there, done that … the kid in me says… noooo, you haven't…

    even though I've been there and done that? I want to do that again. can't have g'ma back but I'm g'ma now. don't like shelling peas. I like to rock.

    new stuff? hmmmm … you know I can honestly state that I can't think of a thing I want to see or do. part of the realization of entering the last phase of life ...

    ...just want to enjoy what I always have and know for sure now … it truly is the little things that give me pleasure.

    My little 5 month old grandson's smile and a laugh out loud? nothing like it.

    hahaa toes in the shower…. HAHaaaa…

  7. The world is full of wondrous things--we just have to stop & appreciate them!!

  8. :)

    i have painted buntings and wood ducks for you here. wish i could share 'em.

  9. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy. You're right--what we consider common may be a total wonder to another. One of my favorite quotes:

    "People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us." ~Iris Murdoch

    Also a good idea to have a checklist and keep working on it.

  10. We used to get loads of them back in my hometown where I was born - a mining town called Germiston in South Africa.

    I love them and think they are just amazing.

  11. Wonderful reminiscence. I hope my grandchildren aren't too old this summer to catch fireflies until ten.

  12. The lightning bugs and snowstorms I take for granted. When I was a kid, I woke up one night and crawled across my bed to the window, where I saw the most magnificent meteor shower ever. I didn't even know it was a meteor shower. I tried for many years to find that that magical sky full of swirling "stars" again, without success.

  13. I think I would be totally amazed. ITs one of those things I grew up with watching on tv as a kid and have never had the chance to see. Not sure there is anything like that in Australia.

  14. Would love to see fire flies and experience a snow storm - need to consider changing countries.

  15. I don't think I've seen fireflies but I've seen glow worms.

  16. I love fireflies. There doesn't seem to be as many of them as there were when we were kids, though. In out neighborhood, a lot of us caught them and sold them to Hopkins for a research project they were conducting at the time.

    HA! Not being able to see your toes in the shower. It sure isn't as easy as it used to be, anyway.

  17. I've never seen fireflies!! Do they have them here in CA?

  18. This post makes me want to try and eek out some words worthy of reading. Joe, you're a good man.

    I (heart) fireflies. Central to my childhood.


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