At dusk on summer evenings, all over Southern Ontario, the fireflies begin their evening performance.
Where we live, if we sit quietly outside, and watch carefully, the evening show starts with just one or two flashes in the trees and long grass, as darkness spreads over the garden and meadows.
Then, slowly, more and more, and soon there are tens of thousands of green flashes of light, each one only lasting for a moment, until the air is full of these amazing creatures.
Their evening show lasts for about half an hour and as each little beetle flashes it's message to potential mates, we see this as a tiny burst of light.
The firefly is actually a flying beetle, a member of the order of Coleoptera which uses bioluminescence to attract the opposite sex, or its prey!
These little creatures are found in woodland, marshes and fields where there is food available for them and their young - their larvae are known as "glow-worms" as they too, emit light.
If you have never walked amongst the fire-flies as they flash their lights at the end of the day, take the opportunity some warm evening to walk where the fire-flies live, and sit quietly, and enjoy their magical lights!
It isn't difficult to understand why ancient peoples may have thought that this phenomenon was something supernatural.
There is an "other-world" quality about these etherial lights, which daylight reveals to be a small, nondescript beetle, with nothing very special about it, but when darkness comes, the Firefly comes into his own, and gives us a show worth watching!
We hope you enjoy this short YouTube video of evening Fire Flies.
The Ojibway Nature Centre - Fireflies