Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fireflies!

Hey, I saw my first fireflies of the season yesterday evening. It was dusk, and I was sitting on my front porch. Exhausted from weed-wacking, I almost nodded off when I saw those first few flashes. Yippee! Now it's summer, no matter what the calendar says.

Speaking of fireflies, Backpacker magazine says that a rare firefly in North Carolina called Photinus carolinus flashes synchronous patterns to and with other fireflies in an amazing display. They describe it as "Christmas lights flashing morse code." Apparently the Great Smokies' Elkmont Campground is the spot that attracts up to 12,000 visitors every June to see the phenomenon.

But Backpacker also says that a more private spot is available. They say to head to Sugarlands, an eastern valley on the West Prong Little Pigeon River: "From the Husky Gap trailhead, follow the tame Riverview Quiet Walkway .4 mile to the riverbank. Bring a red-tinted light (white disturbs the fireflies) and expect a 10p.m. showtime." Call 865-436-1200, or visit nps.gov/grsm

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