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Tom the Alien Cat

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Ah, the Fireflies are Back [May. 26th, 2016|07:36 pm]
Tom the Alien Cat
Unless you've lived both in the northern and southern part of the United States, I do not know if you have had the chance to see northern and southern fireflies.

The little critters in the north are just that ... little. The ones I saw in Massachusetts were about the size of a large grain of rice. They weren't too active either. When I crept up on them, they'd be clinging to a long blade of grass and they'd be flashing there: blink, long pause, blink ...

So their biggest show would be when I'd be in one part of the yard at night, and they'd be slowly flying about: blink here, blink again, long long pause. Then blink and blink again in another location. Beautiful, but not too easy to interact with that. Books gave it some extra interest by explaining that they were trying to get themselves a mate or two with their blinks.

Thus ... I hardly ever use that word, but bear with me ... thus, I was pretty much astounded when I had my own yard in The Carolinas, and started noticing the southern variation. Almost as big as a quarter? Certainly as big as a nickel. And they were out in the twilight, where they could be seen! And the next day, out in the sunlight! They didn't race off if I approached them; in fact, they seemed to be studying me, all the while doing a blink-pause-blink-pause-blink that was much more entertaining.

Well, enough description. I will trying add links back the posts on the fireflies I've had in past years. Always in late May, perhaps.

Last night, the first firefly of 2016 was waiting in front of my front door as I got home. It was moving slowly at calf-level in an area of some flowers, and I walked up to it as I talked to it gently. My tones might have conveyed how glad I was to see it.

It hovered a bit, and I bent down and put my hand under it, palm down, and then lifted. So this living lighthouse had no problem making a gentle seven point landing on the back of my hand. (That is, six legs and the light in its abdomen touched down, and it felt like a tiny little tickle.)

I pulled the hand up to chest height slowly to get a better look (I had gotten two new pairs of glasses that afternoon) but when my hand came to a slow stop, the lightning fly launched itself straight up. Very gracefully starting a slow acceleration and blink-pause-blink-pause-blink off into the distance in the twilight.

So I won't bother to list any of the calamities and setbacks with which I had to deal yesterday. I will just say that meeting the fireflies again, with such physical closeness and acceptance, made me feel like a child of the Earth again.

God's Blessings.