Flickering lights, like so many Tinkerbells, dancing across lawns are one of the special memories of growing up in the South.
This time of year is your best chance to see fireflies, so this week I thought I would give a shout-out to Ben Pfeiffer, a firefly lover who has devoted himself to learning about the fireflies of Texas.
Ben has built an entertaining website, called Firefly.org. In it you can learn about the different kinds of fireflies (each has a unique flash pattern), where they live and what you can do to encourage fireflies to come live in your yard. He’s got some great firefly pictures, and even tells us how to catch and keep (temporarily) fireflies.
So in celebration of firefly month (not really a thing, but it should be), get out of the house this week, walk around your neighborhood and look for fireflies. And if you have kids, bring a jar.
Areas of lawn next to dense vegetation, such as near a creek or fence line are good places to scan. Even in suburban neighborhoods you may find some particular lawns blinking with fireflies. See if you can tell what is different about firefly yards. Firefly larvae like taller grass, or deep thatch with good moisture. Here they are more likely to find the snails and tiny insects that they feed on.
Thanks to Ben for reminding us that getting away from the TV in the evening for a stroll can be an enlightening experience.