I know, I know. It’s incredibly sad that, at the age of 24, I’ve never caught lightning bugs. As a little girl, bugs of any sort freaked me out. And I guess when I got older, I just never took the time to catch them.
Last night, Ticcoa, Jess, and I headed to Look-Up Lodge, stretched out on the dock, and fed bread to the fish in the lake. Dusk fell, and I spotted a lightning bug. Unfortunately, we’d left the Mason jar at their house, but we did have a Dixie cup, which works in a pinch.
My first few attempts at putting the fireflies into the cup were unsuccessful. I was catching them with both hands so I wouldn’t squish them, but then Coa told me to scoop them out of the air with one hand. That method works much better. I only managed to actually get two into the cup. The fireflies are tricky–they knew I was after them, I think, and they kept flying into the trees or up this steep hill where I couldn’t follow them.
One of the girls whose dad runs the camp was also there, and she managed to capture one as well, so we had three in all. In honor of our upcoming trip to Boston, we decided to name them Louisa May, Henry David, and Ralph Waldo. When I noticed they weren’t lighting up much inside the cup, I tried to be more encouraging. I tapped on the cup and told them that I knew they didn’t like being trapped, unable to experience Nature, as they were, after all, named after Transcendentalists. When I said the word Transcendentalists, one of them actually lit up. I said the word a few more times, but didn’t get a response. I even tried baiting the fireflies by asking them what they thought of Margaret Fuller, but that didn’t get a rise out of them either, unfortunately. Eventually, I let them all out because I couldn’t bear the idea of them being trapped any longer. I’m sure they appreciated my kindness. 🙂
Next time, I’ll have to remember the Mason jar, with holes cut out, maybe? I’m sure lightning bugs need to breathe, too. (Maybe I’ll even take a jar to New England–Walden Pond is open until just after sunset–they surely have fireflies in Massachusetts, right? How much fun would that be to catch fireflies at Walden?!?)