Thursday, June 16, 2011

Natural Fireworks

Last week , after a few days of high heat with high humidity , a huge thunderstorm system passed through our area . The winds and intense rains put out the electricity for almost 24 hours .

This proved to have a positive outcome . Besides the humidity and temperature abating somewhat , it was a perfect set of circumstances for the best light show nature can produce . Warm evening. High humidity. No electric lights. No electronic distraction . Remnants of a thunder system slowly moving through . Quiet ( of man-made sound ).

As soon as darkness set in , the heat lightning that flashes from cloud to cloud became clearly visible . Thunder was gentle and distant , a soothing ballad about the storm that was .
 Slowly at first , the little blinks ........
of fireflies appeared in the air . Then tentative responses from the tops of grasses and bushes followed . Within minutes , there were thousands of lights
flashing , blinking and flickering in the frenzy to produce just the right signal to attract a mate . All the while , back lit by sheets of light that erupted in the sky . This went on all night long and held me mesmerized , just as it always has done since I was a child ...when they were fairies . Even knowing what really produces the twinkles in the darkness still hasn't diminished the thrill and fascination .

What touched me most was knowing that the teenager sat quietly outside covered in a blanket for a long time watching the show ...making memories of fireflies that I know will never be matched by anything except nature itself . Of course , I realize the TV and game consul would have been the first choice . But it was the lights of nature that drew him out to sit alone in the dark with lightening and fireflies .

Check out the firefly website for information on fireflies and some wonderful pictures of firefly lightshow .

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