Lights After Dark

by Marion L. Ritcey


I took a cup of tea out on the back steps to enjoy the coming of night and cool off. As I sat there I surveyed the yard, checking on my plants and veggies. They all seemed good, growing well. I would water in the morning since the weatherman said there would be rain tonight.

The yard looks calm unaware of what is about to happen, I know I was. A light show was about to begin. I sat back and enjoyed the show.

As the wind started to move my pine trees I saw a light flicker near the top branches.  As I watched I saw more tiny lights flicker and move through the pine needles. The fireflies were out to do their nightly dance among the trees. I watched them climb and light up the different parts of the yard. More and more came till the yard was alive with their tiny tail lights. It was amazing to see the yard light up like this.

I sat still so they came to me. One first then more and more flickered near me and then went on their way. They knew I would not hurt them. The show they were putting on was to good to end so I sat very still and enjoyed the different routines they did. Some just flew in a straight line; some flew up and down.
Higher and higher they danced then rest for a moment and now are back in flight to frolic the night away among the trees. Are they waiting for more friends to come and join them? If so I can’t wait to see the yard full of the fireflies lighting it up.

It is fun to try and guess where they will light up next. My trees have a look of tiny Christmas lights on them for a while. I wish I knew what they are saying. Is it a courting game, or just a friendly, “Hello”? As far as I can tell the flickering of their tail lights are in no order. Some are short bursts of light; some are long flickers. I guess I’ll just enjoy them for now.

I am lucky the fireflies entertain me night after night with their light show. Some time they are high in the trees and other times they are right on the ground. You never know where they will light up. Every night it is different, so I just sit with me tea and watch. Enjoying them till I tire and go into bed. When I look out my window they are still there, so I can enjoy them till I fall asleep.

I wonder if they know how much we love to watch them. When I was young I would get a glass jar and put grass in it and catch a firefly, so I could see the flicker in the jar. It was a natural light show. I would let them go so they would come back and flicker for me the next night and the rest of the summer.

Fireflies or lighting bugs, whatever you call them, are a fun part of summer. You can enjoy them up close or from the window of your room. They will dance for you all night. You just have to stop and look for them.