Thursday, June 10, 2010

Endangered Fireflies

I thought it was just our yard but sadly, no: fireflies are disappearing, going the way of bumble honeybees and Gulf Coast oysters. Yet another thing we humans have screwed up.

When I was a kid fireflies were ubiquitous, a staple of summer. My sister and I would collect them in mayonnaise jars and try to make lanterns. I’m sure everyone has a memory like that.

This summer I’ve seen precious few of them blinking away. I thought maybe it was our unusually harsh winter, or perhaps the flood. Now I remember that NES came through last year and cleared out the hedge separating our yard from our neighbors’ -- the place where we always saw the most fireflies. I suspect that destroyed their nesting area.

Endangered fireflies? Say it ain’t so, folks! Isn't there one species we can keep from destroying? We're like Midas in reverse, everything we touch turns to shit. This makes me very, very depressed.

The Boston Museum of Science is asking people around the country to help track fireflies in their yards. You can join Firefly Watch here.