There is something magical about fireflies. When I was a kid back in Indiana, they were as essential to summer as the ice cream truck, trips to the lake, and drive-in movies. We called them "lightening bugs," and my friends and I spent many a summer evening catching them and imprisoning them in empty peanut butter jars to keep by our beds at night.
Magic in a jar.
As I grew up, I lost interest in fireflies and magic. Grown-ups don't have time for such things. Then, thirteen summers ago, while in Indiana for a celebration of my parents' fiftieth wedding anniversary, I saw hundreds, maybe thousands of them, dancing and twinkling along the shore of a lake at night. Never in my life had I seen so many.
Talk about magic.
In that moment, I realized how much I missed fireflies. We don't have them here in Southern California—at least I've never seen any.
Two weeks ago, while in Chicago, we toured a bioluminescence exhibit at the Field Museum of Natural History. There were fireflies in the exhibit, of course: one real, dead firefly (which produced no light at all), and lots of electronic fireflies (which produced the same slowly pulsing, greenish-yellow light as real fireflies). As we left the exhibit, all I could think was, "I have got to get some of these things!"
When we got home, I got on the computer and found the Firefly Magic website, with the following description of their product:
Fireflies, also called Lightning Bugs, light up a magical evening and are truly 'Magical Fireflies'. Welcome! You've just discovered the amazing Firefly Magic® Firefly Lights that have been developed to accurately recreate the life-like flashing, flickering, and fading of Mother Nature's real fireflies in your yard or garden, all year long. So special and realistic are these patented firefly lights that they're used by Universities for conducting their firefly research. In addition, Firefly Magic® Firefly Lights are used in theme parks, natural science museums, zoos, hotels, restaurants, on stage, and in movies to accurately replicate the look and feel of Mother Nature's real fireflies.
I ordered a set, and they were delivered within a couple of days. I installed them last weekend, wiring them into our low-voltage lighting system and strategically placing them in the shrubbery and lower tree branches in one corner of the back yard.
I could hardly wait for the sun to go down.
And I am happy to report that Firefly Magic® Firefly Lights are every bit as amazing and magical as advertised. In fact, I think I'll order myself another set. After all, you can never have too many fireflies.
Or too much magic.
(Photo from www.firefly.org. Visit their website for more information about fireflies, including some disturbing news about their dwindling numbers.)