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Old 05-31-2007, 08:26 PM   #1
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Who else enjoys lightning bugs?

Buck and I are sitting on our big front porch, which is our usual venue in the warmer months, and are enjoying a fantastic light show...compliments of our lightning bugs.

How many of you enjoy them? That is, those of you who are fortunate to have then in your geographical area.

I remember spending hours as a child chasing them and putting them in old mayonnaise jars. Daddy would poke holes in the top of the jar with a hammer and nail and I would be off and, literally, running. It's a great memory.

Fortunately, where Buck and I live we have lots of vegetation and the "bug" population is huge. It's the Fourth of July every evening in the summer.

I think I need to go now and find a mayonnaise jar.

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Old 05-31-2007, 08:36 PM   #2
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bioluminescent creatures are very cool, k.t.e.

they're the state insect of pennsylvania and tennessee.

we used to collect them at night, collecting bees in the same jars during the daytime, after the lights had gone out, shall we say.

if you give a firefly a good whack, they get stunned a stay lit for a while.

bees are far cooler, however. you can tie a threaed around them, very carefully, and take them for a walk, or a fly. when you got tired of them, just tighten the slipknot...
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:39 PM   #3
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Really...?

Okay, bucky. How do you prepare your lightning bug "blind" to ensure the best catch? What's your jar of choice? I'd be interested to know.
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:43 PM   #4
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a blind?

wow, yous guys really have this stuff down.

we just ran around the yard like maniacs, screaming and trying not to bump into each other while we scooped them out of the air.

apparently, lightning bugs are either deaf, or are not as smart as a 5th grader.

the ubiquitous mayo jar with holes punched in the lid was our choice as well.

the real question remains, tho: hellman's or miracle whip?
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:44 PM   #5
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I love fireflies also! unfortunately we only see them occasionaly up at our cottage.

by the by tom, that's aweful to keep the pour flies and bees on string and then just kill em off!
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:46 PM   #6
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what can i tell you, we were not too bright 5th graders.

i guess it's much better just to imprison them, huh?

another interesting fact: asian lightning bugs are able to synchronize their flashes. pretty cool for a simple insect.
american ones can also synchronize their flashes, but prefer to watch tv instead...
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:47 PM   #7
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Didn't have to choose between Hellman's or Miracle Whip. Our lightning bugs were an equal opportunity mayonnaise jar participant.

Sometimes we'd just go WILD and use a Kroger mayonnaise jar. Whoo! Can you say, "Living on the edge!"

Hey, when you're 8-years-old, you have to get your kicks where you find them.
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom
what can i tell you, we were not too bright 5th graders.
, who is at that age?
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:16 PM   #9
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We use to smear their lights on our skin. They are stinky little guys.

I love to drive on a country road at night and see the flashes of lights they cause!
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:26 PM   #10
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their lights are associated with organs that also produce that stink. their predators have "learned" that if it glows, it probably doesn't taste that good.

man, i need to get out more and stop watching so much pbs.

hey, anyone got an old mayo jar?
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom
their lights are associated with organs that also produce that stink. their predators have "learned" that if it glows, it probably doesn't taste that good.

man, i need to get out more and stop watching so much pbs.

hey, anyone got an old mayo jar?
I've got some sketti sauce jars you can have. The aren't quite as big but they'll still work.

I also have an extra gallon jar for iced tea. You could light up the town with that one!
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Old 05-31-2007, 10:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angie
We use to smear their lights on our skin.
Omigosh, Angie. I just remembered something. When I was a child - probably in the first or second grade - I used to smear the "glow" from a lightning bug on my lefthand ring finger, imagining it as a "diamond."

Isn't it interesting what memories come forward?

I now have a "glowing" thing on that same finger that Buck presented to me many, many years ago, proving that little girls' dreams can come true.
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Old 05-31-2007, 10:46 PM   #13
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I was sitting in our yard with DW tonight and she spotted her first fire fly of the season. She reminisced going to see the 4th of July fireworks and the walk thru a wooded area near the golf course was ablaze with lightning bugs. She was young and thought the pyrotechnic display had begun.

My story involved adult foolishness when I attempted to impress the family with a fireworks display in our back yard. One of the aerial bombs didn’t quit get aerial and started a bale of straw afire which was precariously close to our newly constructed shed. I grabbed a 5 gallon bucket and dipped it into the pool to douse the flames. I got another bucket full, and another but couldn’t seem to extinguish the embers that were glowing deep inside the straw. I got the hose and asked my son to bring a flashlight. It turned out I had managed to douse the flames with the first bucket of water and the proceeding buckets and hose were basically drowning some poor fire flies who had taken up residence in the straw. The family will not let me forget the episode.

I did catch the critters when I was young and always put them in a jar with holes in the lid. We always added some foliage for the bugs but I don’t know why. Every morning I would find my jar empty and figured the bugs were escape artists as well as carrying their own light source. I found out later in life that my Dad had always emptied the jar on his way to work in the morning. Lightening bugs are not related to Houdini and there is no Easter Bunny. Getting old and gaining knowledge can suck sometime.
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Old 05-31-2007, 11:05 PM   #14
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i remember fireflies being all over the place at my grandma's in south TX when i was a little kiddo, capturing in empty jars and all. we'd climb up into the low-hanging branches of the huge tangerine tree out front and watch them blink through the tree leaves...just magical.

there weren't many as i got older. eventually, i came across a theory that fire ants kill the firefly larvae in the ground, and there's certainly a heck of a lot more fire ants than fireflies in south TX.

then in the summer of 2003, i moved up to MD. i was sitting on the back porch, enjoying the fading summer light with the sweet little old couple that lived next door (the baltimore neighborhood was an old one, and chilling out on the nearly connected porches of the rowhomes is an institution), when i saw a brief flash in the yard. i set that wine glass down right quick and raced down the porch steps to catch the little flash in my hands, and yes, sure enough, there was the long-lost firefly from my childhood. the neighbors couldn't understand why i was so amazed by a little bug.
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Old 05-31-2007, 11:10 PM   #15
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Awesome, fireweaver. I hope fireflies/lightning bugs aren't lost. They are the things of childhood and our memories.

Even though I'm an old poop, I still catch a few as Buck and I sit on our porch in the evenings.

I'll often reach my hand up to catch one and encourage it into my palm, "Come on, little bug. Come to me."

If they light in my hand, I'm always careful to thank them for their "light" and then let them go into the night. They are still magic after all these years.
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Old 06-01-2007, 05:07 AM   #16
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There has always been a plethora of lightening bugs around my neighbourhoods. Loved catching them as kids...they were such easy prey. Even the most uncoordinated kid could catch one if they were patient enough.
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Old 06-01-2007, 06:32 AM   #17
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love 'em. Used to catch them as a child and still enjoy seeing them. They are not out in full force here yet, just a few. They do not bite, nor sting and are fun to watch, unlike some other bugs presently out, itch itch scratch itch scratch itch scratch scratch
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Old 06-01-2007, 08:49 AM   #18
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We didn't have them where I lived in California but we loved watching them on our vacations to Missouri.

I never saw any where I live now in South Carolina until this year. I started seeing them last week.

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Old 06-01-2007, 10:53 PM   #19
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I love watching them. That is one insect that doesn't bother me at all.
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Old 06-02-2007, 06:43 AM   #20
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One of the best memories of my childhood. We kept them in a mason jar with some blades of grass by our bedside for the night. Turned them loose in the morning and caught more for the next night.
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