Ahhh, Summer. Summer in Kansas means hot, humid days with the sweet relief of an evening breeze cooling things off as the sun goes down.
It also means lightning bugs. Those amazing little creatures known as fireflies that are worth extending bedtimes for. Those insects that have moms and dads running around in the dusky evening light with their kids trying to capture them for closer observation.
Hunting for fireflies with The Bear brought back memories of my childhood. Running around the yard with my brothers and an empty mayonnaise jar in hand with holes punched in the lid. And not the plastic “jars” you see today. No, these were the big, glass, shatter if dropped on the sidewalk JARS! A few fireflies never made it to the jar, as they were sacrificed for glow-in-the-dark ‘jewelry’. Looking back I can only think, “EEEEEWWWWWWWW!!!!!!”.
After a suitable number of bugs had been collected (or we were called in to get ready for bed!), we would gather some grass and twigs to make the jar more ‘home-like’ for the little guys.
The next day, we would often build forts impenetrable to daylight. These were complex structures made with giant pillows, sofa cushions, blankets, chairs and any other furniture we deemed necessary. Our goal was to trick the fireflies into thinking that it was night. I don’t remember if we were ever able to get them to light up during the day, just the great fun we had designing and building the forts.
So many fun times, but there are a few things I forgot about.
Mosquitoes. Oh. Dear. Lord! I have bites all over the place and The Bear is convinced that the fireflies bit her! I’ve tried to explain that they are mosquitoes bites with no luck so far. Next time, I will NOT forget bug spray!!!!
Also, either I am past the age of being able to actually catch fireflies, or they are super strength, mutated, freak fireflies. I could not catch a single one! They were like ninjas. You would see one, and then it was gone. No tracer trail, just gone. We ran all over the yard trying to get even one! I remember them hanging out in the grass and all you had to do was pick them up! What happened to those fireflies???? I want to know where the lazy ones went!
I ran, jumped, ran out of breath and finally ran out of patience. Thankfully, The Bear wasn’t too upset over coming into the house empty-handed. I think she had more than enough fun watching her mom nearly hyperventilate from all of the running.
My goal for the week (besides trying to workout more!) is to help The Bear capture at least 3 fireflies. Oh, and find a real mayo jar to put them in!
So, what are your firefly memories? Share!