This afternoon when I went to pick up Lilia at school, she started going on about fireflies. Earlier, a teacher had shown the kids a firefly she’d caught near her house. She showed them photos and explained all about fireflies and their semaphores. Lilia insisted on having one more look at the photos posted in the hallway before going home.

After dinner, she managed to convey something about fireflies to her father and he suggested that we go have a look. Firefly-viewing, like moon-viewing and cherry-blossom-viewing, is one of those time-honored Japanese traditions, but in all my years in Japan, I’ve never gone in search of flickers in the night. Fireflies remind me of lazy, barefoot summers in Michigan, and of Mason jars with holes punched in the lids. We caught them and made lanterns of our cupped hands.

Tonight, we piled into the car and Yoshi drove to a wooded area along a stream. It was very dark and we could hear frogs bellowing. It wasn’t long before we saw a tiny flash. Then, we found a spot with entire constellations of fireflies. We didn’t get close enough to catch any, but Lilia shouted with delight. She told me that she likes firefly-viewing better than her Nintendo DS.


5 thoughts on “Fireflies

  1. We took a walk last night to see some. A bit early but better to go now than to get caught in rainy season and miss them entirely. They’re kind of magical, aren’t they?

  2. My brother’s kids were the same way… as they don’t see them in the city in Texas… so his girls were excited to catch them as well up here in the rural north Midwest USA.

    Nature’s wonders stand the test of time.

  3. I’ve never seen any here, but when we went back to the US in summer I see them sometimes, and I always get excited. They are pretty amazing creatures…

  4. What a beautiful scene. I can totally see you there, alongside the stream. It reminds me of being with my sisters at my grandmother’s in NJ during the summer when we were kids.

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