fireflies in missouri

Last night about 10pm I came home to what was one of the most stunning sights I have ever seen. It was a valley full of fireflies… thousands of them. There were so many of them, and the light patterns from their flashing was completely mesmerizing. It was one of those things you really just can’t put into words. I climbed up on the garage and looked out over the sight for probably a good half hour in amazement.

I attempted to take a photo, but even with a 30 second exposure at ISO 1600 and a lot of photoshop pushing, it’s still hard to see them because they don’t stay illuminated or in the same place very long. If you click on the image you can see a larger size where you can make them out easier, especially the ones in the back of the field. The constellation of perfectly aligned stars in the top right is actually an airplane that I didn’t realize was flying through the shot.

Fireflies use bioluminescence to attract either a mate or prey. Some predatory types mimic the mate signal and then devour the hopeful mate. I don’t know the difference between the signals so I couldn’t tell whether this was a huge dinner party or a mating fest.