Summer Memories of Chasing Fireflies

As a kid, I loved summer nights. Since we had nowhere to be the next day, we were allowed to stay out later and enjoy the cooler air after the sun set. This is when the fireflies flew.


We call them lightening bugs where I live in the south. I am not even sure I knew the term firefly until I was a teenager, at least. Whatever they are, the little insects were like magic to me as they blinked their way across the sky.

You can't help but want chase them. It is like playing a simultaneous game of hide-and-seek and freeze tag, all initiated by a bug.

It is fun. It is simple. It is summer.

It is also free entertainment without an electronic device or screen of any sort. I hope kids these days, specifically my girls, still find an evening of firefly chasing enjoyable.

I imagine lazy summer nights spent watching them run after lightening bugs in the backyard, mason jars in hand. When you chase them, you are supposed to catch them, too.

A mason jar with its easy-to-puncture metal lid was great for this long before they became trendsetting party staples and home decor. Since mason jars are so popular now, I happen to have a stash of them just waiting for a season of chasing -- and capture -- fireflies.

Actually capturing them is one thing I never liked to do as a kid since bugs are icky and all, but I have a feeling my two girls will have catching the fireflies as their nightly mission.

I will have to teach the oldest that it is okay to get close to the bugs while telling the youngest not to put them in her mouth should she actually have a successful catch, but I am willing to venture into the game of capturing, not just chasing.

My little family has never tried chasing lightning bugs, so I am unsure how many we will find around our house. I would love to have a enough to fill a jar. It would fun to end the night with a quick snack outside by the light of fireflies. Then, we have to let them go.

I have no desire to ruin a lovely evening with a jar full of bugs escaping in the house or worse, so all confined insects must be released before heading inside.

Doing so will ensure we have plenty of fireflies to chase the next night and the next. That is the most magical part of all.

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