Chasing Lightning Bugs [Throwback Thursday]

by Robyn Wright on June 19, 2014

in Living

natures nightlights by chiots run flickr

Do you remember when the nights were suddenly warm and dusk had arrived and all of the sudden little yellow flashes of light started appearing in the air? This was always so magical to me. It was like tiny stars had come down to visit us and share their spectacular light show in our little world.

There must be something magical about those lightning bugs. I have absolutely no bad memories associated with them at all, only very happy and relaxing thoughts of running around the yard with friends and trying to catch our little points of light. It was always in the yard and barefoot with the soft and cool grass tickling my toes as I darted around after them. Giggling was always heard too as their little antennae tickled our skin as we captured them in our gently cupped hands. Just a moment or two they would walk around so we could see them and then light up and fly off. There are no memories of a bad day before the show began at dusk and no bad memories after it was over and time to go in for the night. It is just all peaceful in my mind.

lightning bugs by otto phokus flickr

Some nights we would have an empty peanut butter jar, glass no less, that we poked holes in the metal lid with an ice pick – boy we were tough kids back then – to capture these special creatures. I hope they did not mind too much, at least we always let them go after a while so they could fly off into the night and reunite with their lightning bug friends. Do you think they liked playing chase with us as much as we did with them? Kind of like the dog likes to run and play with the kids. Hmmm, I wonder. I think I am going to pretend that is how it is for them anyway.

firefly by Kristine Paulus Flickr

It seems many people use the term fireflies now instead, but to me they are always lightning bugs. Each time I see one it makes me smile. Each time the light flashes the memories of a carefree childhood race back into my mind. Dear little lightning bug, you are the only bug I really love.

Do you have memories of catching lightning bugs as a child?


photo sources: Nature’s Nightlights by Chiot’s Run on Flickr, Fireflies, lightning bugs round the old oak tree by Otto Phokus on Flickr; Firefly by Kristine Paulus on Flickr

© 2014, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.

Comments on this entry are closed.


1 Rust June 19, 2014 at 6:47 pm

You described the lightening bug experiences of my childhood perfectly! :) ……kinda bothers me that I rarely see one these days.

2 Robyn Wright June 21, 2014 at 10:28 pm

I saw some last night!

3 yonawilliams June 19, 2014 at 6:54 pm

They’ll always be lightning bugs to me, and I am still mesmerized by the blinking light shows they produce!

4 Robyn Wright June 21, 2014 at 10:28 pm

me too – just love that blinking!

5 tannawings June 20, 2014 at 2:14 am

I remember them well and yes they are lightning bigs to me too. We used to catch them in glass jars btut the boys were cruel- they would take the bugs apart and put the glowing part on themselves (gross but true) There doesnt seem to be as many lightning bugs as there were years ago…. the fields would almost light up with them. Nowdays you see one or two blinks and thats about it.

6 Robyn Wright June 21, 2014 at 10:29 pm

I knew lots of kids who would pull out the glow part and make necklaces and bracelets on their skin with them too.

7 Robin June 20, 2014 at 5:04 am

This is such a sweet post. We used to try to catch lightning bugs as kids too (though we were not always successful).

8 Robyn Wright June 21, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Thank you Robin, I’m glad you enjoyed reading it. I enjoyed writing it.

9 Tracy Cotton Pickin Cute June 21, 2014 at 2:49 am

I still think of them as lightning bugs too Robin. I thought maybe the difference in name was a North / South thing. But of course I somethings still use the word icebox. hee-hee.

10 Robyn Wright June 21, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Yes, I’m sure it was a regional language thing. We are refrigerator folks here in Missouri.

11 Leela June 22, 2014 at 11:10 am

This is something I used to look forward to every night.

12 coupontammy June 23, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Oh those were the good old days. Kids just don’t have as much fun as we did. We used to spend hours outside trying to catch lightning bugs. For some reason it was okay to handle lightning bugs but not really any others. I wish more kids now a days would give it try.

13 Heather Laverty June 25, 2014 at 7:45 am

I love lightning bugs! We used to sit and watch them for hours

14 Candace Parker July 7, 2014 at 3:43 pm

I love lightning bugs. I live in the city so its rare to see them. I have been surprised the last two summers to see a couple. I don’t know if they are the only two but I never see anymore than that.

15 sgumer July 9, 2014 at 5:04 pm

i loved doing this when i was young. i don’t see that many around anymore so the kids can’t do this as much. when we do see them we try and catch them.

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