Here's the Scoop: June 23, 2010
Another bright idea
I’m declaring 2010 The Year of the Firefly.
This is being done because I’ve noticed that over the past decade or so, it seems that each summer a different type of animal or insect steps (or runs, flies or crawls) into prominence. Squirrels, ladybugs, frogs, tent caterpillars — they’ve all dominated recent summers. My early money this year is on fireflies.
The good news is, I like fireflies. Always have. I’ve mentioned in this column my boyhood fascination for the book, Freddie the Firefly. Being I was a nonreader, I relied on others to relay the soaring tales of Freddie’s adventures to me. Apparently, I counted on others a bit too much. One of my parents (not my father) eventually hid the book to avoid this nightly ritual. Ouch.
Because it’s been years since I’ve seen Freddie The Firefly, I decided to look up a description of this literary masterpiece. The review called it: “A classic children’s book, from the Tuck-me-in Tales series. Teaches basic science of the animal and insect world through the lives of the characters and explores various animal characteristics, environments and predators. Rich in vocabulary and attention to detail.”
I don’t remember all that technical stuff, but I thought it was pretty cool that fireflies glowed in the dark.
Fortunately, my fascination with fireflies has never faded. I don’t know much about these creatures, but they seem like they’re “all good.” They don’t bite. They make no noise. And they create light without burning fossil fuels or creating other environmental annoyances. And, they’re not covered in oil.
I have no idea why, but it seems like this year has brought more fireflies than ever. And they were around in May — I don’t recall such an early arrival date.
The fireflies at our house have been so spectacular that a friend who was staying with us a few weeks ago declared that she was going to get married in our yard, with the ceremony lit by fireflies. We said she was welcome to have the wedding here. Now, she’s off looking for a fiancé.
Our son-in-law also shares my passion for fireflies. It seems he and his brother loved to catch these critters and turn them loose in their parents’ bedroom for some childhood entertainment.
Everyone who enjoys fireflies is certain to be thrilled with this year’s crop. Each night, I venture outside and admire these little critters as they brighten the night.
Of course, fireflies — like everything else — can be too much of a good thing. This is kind of embarrassing, but the other evening I was on the porch singing, “You Light Up My Life” to the hundreds of fireflies that were filling the air around me. When my wife came outside unexpectedly, I had to pretend I was serenading her. Whew.
I’m not sure which was worse — covering up my song to these insects or my singing itself. Or, the fact that I knew a few words to this really lame song.
Anyhow, I got away with this episode — for a little while. When my wife left to get something and returned a short time later, I had to scramble to explain why I was outside singing “I Wear My Sunglasses At Night.” The fireflies, naturally, understood.