Thursday, June 14, 2012

Things I didn't know -- Fireflies

It's amazing the things I still don't know, despite the length of time I've lived on this earth.

As a child I caught many fireflies, kept them in my room flashing away in a glass mason jar, and letting them go in the morning.  This evening my two granddaughters did the same.  They were all set to sleep in a room lit with fireflies in jars.


Suddenly they came running into the room, screaming that one firefly was attacking the others -- in each jar.  Sure enough, there was a much larger firefly attacking the others.
Since I was busy handling a condolence call, I suggested they go look it up on the internet.

Sure enough, there are different types of fireflies.  The females are larger and attack the males after sex. (oh my.  I've exposed my grandchildren to insect sex.)
Personally, I knew about spiders doing this, but had no idea that fireflies also did this.

This action grossed them out so much that they decided to let the fireflies go -- this instant!  They ran downstairs onto the back porch and opened the jars where several immediately flew back into the house. YIKES!  Now I had one grandchild running around the hall trying to catch the escapees while the other one stayed on the porch complaining that the rest of them wouldn't get out of the jar.

So much for getting them quietly and quickly to sleep.
They finally settled down -- fireflyless -- after 10:30 pm.  I guess they'll be sleeping in tomorrow morning.                    -wo

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