Who doesn’t love fireflies, aka lightning bugs? They’re magical at night, easy to catch (and then kindly set free) and they don’t bite, sting or suck your blood. To me, they’re also the first sign of summer.
Along with other species, though, fireflies may be affected by a number of environmental factors in their habitats, Are outdoor lights interfering with their communication and therefore their mating? Are pesticides affecting firefly populations? Are moisture levels in soil adequate for firefly larvae to survive and thrive? More data is needed to find out the answers to these questions, so the Museum of Science, Boston, coordinates a multi-state, volunteer Firefly Watch program to collect data about the flying beetles.
Tonight, July 12, from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. The Parklands’ Beckley Creek Park is hosting a Firefly Night family event as part of the Firefly Watch program.
At the PNC Achievement Center for Education and Interpretation, everyone will learn more about fireflies and where they live, how they communicate and how they glow. Then there will be a firefly count for the official Firefly Watch database (bring a flashlight).
The Firefly Night event is $4 for Parklands members and $6 for non-members. You can register online for Firefly Watch here .
To find out more about the Museum of Science’s Firefly Watch program, and how you can join the volunteers around the country who are observing fireflies in their own backyards and submitting that information to help scientists expand their understanding of these insects, check out the program’s site and sign up to be a firefly watch member . You can also check out the data that has been collected, going back to 2008.
And see more upcoming events at Beckley Creek Park this month , including Creek Camp, Movie Nights, and Hike to the Moon, when the Louisville Astronomical Society will be on site with telescopes to celebrate the 44th Anniversary of the first manned moon landing.
Photo: Museum of Science, Boston