firefly

image credit: Monika at pixabay

A winged spark doth soar about —
I never met it near
For Lightning it is oft mistook
When nights are hot and sere —

It’s twinkling Travels it pursues
Above the Haunts of men —
A speck of Rapture — first perceived
By feeling it is gone —

~ Emily Dickinson
(The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #1502)

17 thoughts on “firefly”

  1. Last night the lightning bugs were so numerous over the field and lawn, right up into the trees. They are going to love this heat wave. It’s going to be electric the next couple of nights!

    1. That sounds so magical, Eliza! I remember a night like that at my cousin’s farm and woods in West Virginia. We have quite a few lightning bugs around here. I wish I could capture them with my camera.

  2. Ours are back, too! It puzzles me how Monkey doesn’t seem to notice them at all though. My previous Sheltie, Dallas, seemed to think I’d called them to the yard just for him to chase! I wonder if they don’t have any particular odor. Still, I’d think a twinkling, flying bug would hold endless interest for a herding dog.

    1. I think dogs are like people, with an endless variety of personalities and interests, even within the same breed. Did the double brood of cicadas ever come out in your area? I’ve been wondering how Monkey reacted to seeing them and if the noise they made bothered him at all. The noise lasted about a month here.

      1. Barbara, I don’t think we got the double brood. Perhaps it occurred elsewhere? At any rate, we didn’t have near the noise I’d been led to believe, so Monk and I sailed through just fine.

        1. It’s puzzling trying to make sense of the maps where the different broods were emerging. A friend who lives 13 miles northeast of me had no cicadas at all. Glad to hear it was pretty quiet for you and Monk. 🙂

  3. This is a beautiful poem and image Barbara. I must say that it has been years since I sat outside in the evening and saw fireflies. Maybe concerts my friends and I went to at Pine Knob in the 70s – we always had lawn seats. I can remember as a kid, we’d sit on the porch all Summer after dinner and dishes were done. I’d catch fireflies in a pickle or jam jar with holes punched into the metal lid. Simple joys (though maybe not so much for the firefly who was missing his kin). 🙂

    1. Those are some wonderful firefly memories you have, Linda. I remember seeing them in our woods when I was a child and how magical they seemed, like little fairies. One night when my sister and I were staying with a cousin in West Virginia she woke me up in the middle of the night. Lying on her bed we could see thousands of them right outside the bedroom window. These days, on evening walks, my grandchildren like to catch them and let them crawl around on their arms and hands. 🙂

  4. This is a wonderful pairing, Barbara. I especially like the picture that you found.

    I haven’t seen any lightening bugs this summer, yet. They do delight me!

    Since you think of us when you see TX in the news, I also to let you know that we made it through here in Corpus Christi TX with the first round of the tropical storm Alberto. Our property is not in a flood zone area and the house is up from the ground over 12-18” on pier and beam. My anxiety was more concerned with the wind gusts and our overhead power lines and towering old oak trees. I don’t keep any flyaway decorations and placed my patio chairs, trash containers into the garage with my VW beetle. All was fine on our street! Though there is lots of flooding in area and many power outages! Did you see ABC World News with David Muir today? Those pictures were true and accurate as I recognize the landmarks. We are expecting seven more days of rain as another tropical storm is developing in the same beginning point with similar movement. Placing my periodic anxiety aside, I really enjoyed the rain, cooler temperatures and change of atmosphere. Perhaps we will get some lightning bugs too.

    1. I’m happy you enjoyed the pairing, TD! I hope you get to see some lightning bugs in your area soon. There’s something so magical about them.
      I’m guessing all the rain you’re getting is welcome. We could you use a little tropical storm over here since we’re in the “abnormally dry” drought monitor category now. That’s good you don’t have to worry about flooding. We do get enough warning to put outdoor stuff away when storms approach. Let’s hope the hurricane season won’t be as bad as they are predicting. 🤞 I don’t watch the network news in the evening but stick with PBS News Hour. In the morning I watch the local CBS station to catch the weather and sometimes a little bit of CBS Mornings. That’s pretty cool you could recognize your local landmarks on the national news!

    2. PS – We’re under our first heat advisory of the year today. I imagine you’ve already had a few of them.

  5. I noticed many fireflies outside last night. It’s hot here now and they like the trees behind the house. So pretty, ED described them well.

    1. Emily definitely has a way with words. You’re lucky you can enjoy the firefly show in the trees behind your house, an enchanting way to spend a summer evening.

  6. Always living on the West Coast, I saw my first fireflies just a few years back while visiting Washington DC with my son (school trip). Lovely!

    1. I didn’t realize there weren’t any fireflies on the west coast! Smithsonian Magazine says: “Among Eastern species, males flash while they’re in flight to attract females; those species don’t live farther west than Kansas, except for a few isolated populations. Out West, it’s the adult females that glow, but only while they’re on the ground, and very faintly—so faintly their glow is hardly detectable even to a human eye fully adapted to the dark.” I’m glad you and your son got a chance to see them while you were here!

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