U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Nature
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old Today, 06:17 PM
 
10,104 posts, read 8,048,617 times
Reputation: 18192

Advertisements

I was blessed to witness the famous synchronous fireflies of Elkmont, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park a few years ago. They don't start to twinkle until it is completely dark, unlike other varieties who start to twinkle at twilight, but the show is spectacular, as they synchronize their twinkles for about ten or so seconds, then go completely dark for ten to fifteen seconds, then flash again - series of flashes during the "on" time, not all flashing together but twinkling within that brief interval before all going dark again. They started their performance on the forest floor, and gradually rose into the trees.

If you want to see the Elkmont fireflies, you will be encouraged to apply for a pass well ahead of time. It's a guessing game to figure out exactly when the show will be at its best - usually late May to early June, but weather can change that. The fireflies have so many fans that there is now a drawing of applications.

Winners pay a small price fee and get bus transportation from the Sugarlands Visitor Center just inside the park from Gatlinburg, TN, and are encouraged to pack folding chairs and other supplies for the evening. There are restroom facilities and a paved walkway at the site, but few other amenities.

I learned the dates of the official firefly viewing before I made my trip, then looked into visiting on my own the night after the official week or so of viewing concluded. Many others had the same idea - which worked out very well that year. Park Rangers were in place to direct traffic and assist visitors to the pathway to the viewing area, close to the Elkmont Campground.

Synchronous fireflies have been discovered in other parts of the park - Cade's Cove also has them, I am told - as well as in similar areas close to the park, and there are some nearby privately owned areas which are open at a fee for firefly watchers.

Best advice would be to check online, and make some inquiry by phone or texts or emails, if you'd like to see this incredibly beautiful phenomenon. Of course, the Smokies are gorgeous even without synchronous fireflies, but if you have an opportunity to see this incredible sight- take it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old Today, 09:28 PM
 
5,800 posts, read 3,289,647 times
Reputation: 20052
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Absolutely. They're everywhere here. I don't know if I ever saw one living in Iowa.
I know they are in northern IA around the lake areas - Clear Lake and Spirit Lake.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Today, 09:29 PM
 
5,800 posts, read 3,289,647 times
Reputation: 20052
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
I was blessed to witness the famous synchronous fireflies of Elkmont, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park a few years ago. They don't start to twinkle until it is completely dark, unlike other varieties who start to twinkle at twilight, but the show is spectacular, as they synchronize their twinkles for about ten or so seconds, then go completely dark for ten to fifteen seconds, then flash again - series of flashes during the "on" time, not all flashing together but twinkling within that brief interval before all going dark again. They started their performance on the forest floor, and gradually rose into the trees.

If you want to see the Elkmont fireflies, you will be encouraged to apply for a pass well ahead of time. It's a guessing game to figure out exactly when the show will be at its best - usually late May to early June, but weather can change that. The fireflies have so many fans that there is now a drawing of applications.

Winners pay a small price fee and get bus transportation from the Sugarlands Visitor Center just inside the park from Gatlinburg, TN, and are encouraged to pack folding chairs and other supplies for the evening. There are restroom facilities and a paved walkway at the site, but few other amenities.

I learned the dates of the official firefly viewing before I made my trip, then looked into visiting on my own the night after the official week or so of viewing concluded. Many others had the same idea - which worked out very well that year. Park Rangers were in place to direct traffic and assist visitors to the pathway to the viewing area, close to the Elkmont Campground.

Synchronous fireflies have been discovered in other parts of the park - Cade's Cove also has them, I am told - as well as in similar areas close to the park, and there are some nearby privately owned areas which are open at a fee for firefly watchers.

Best advice would be to check online, and make some inquiry by phone or texts or emails, if you'd like to see this incredibly beautiful phenomenon. Of course, the Smokies are gorgeous even without synchronous fireflies, but if you have an opportunity to see this incredible sight- take it.
Wow! I've never herd of this. Sounds like a great way to spend an evening.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Today, 11:22 PM
 
Location: Caverns measureless to man...
6,949 posts, read 4,412,426 times
Reputation: 15388
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Their bioluminescence has been studied for decades by the biochemists, but they can't figure it out how they get such a bright light without generating excessive heat.


Maybe more amazing is that when photographed with a prolonged shutter speed, their light display traces out a species specific, repeating pattern (zig-zags, "j's" etc) that serves as a mating dance to attract a partner-- kinduva six legged Dance of the Seven Veils.
And perhaps even more remarkable than that is that some fireflies are predators who prey on other fireflies - and the way they lure their prey is by imitating the mating lights of different species of fireflies.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Nature
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top