Saturday, July 24, 2010

Getting Bugged in Iowa City

All week my blog sisters have been writing about bugs. Now it’s my turn.

The first summer I went to Iowa City for a workshop at the U of Iowa summer writing program, I discovered lightening bugs or fireflies, well, rediscovered them. I had known all about them when I was a kid, but since there don’t seem to be any in Southern California, I’d forgotten all about them.

The week long classes always began with a meeting on Sunday evening. To get back from the classroom to where I was staying I had to walk through an open field. Picture an expanse of grass, a darkening sky and everywhere tiny flashes of light going off and on.

For the rest of the week, every evening I would find a bench by the river and watch it get dark and be enchanted by the dance of the fireflies.

I don’t care that they are really beetles or that they might be cannibals, to me they are magic.


Linda O. Johnston said...

On my trips to Pittsburgh to visit family over the last few years, I'd thought that lightning bugs were becoming extinct, Betty--but the last time I was there and out at night in summer, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were back! I used to love to attempt to count them when I was a child.

Camille Minichino said...

Friends of mine just moved to Grinnell, Iowa -- they reported on a lightning bug hunt their 2 little granddaughters delighted in!

Monica Ferris said...

I remember lightning bugs from my childhood in east-central Illinois. Even the most creative sci-fi author couldn't invent something as lovely -- and unlikely -- as lightning bugs.

Betty Hechtman said...

Extinct? I hope not, Linda.

Camille, I bet those two little girls had fun.

Monica, you're right. It would be hard to make up anything better than lightening bugs.

After rediscovering the ightening bugs in Iowa City, I noticed there were some in Chicago in June. Not as many and they're harder to see, but still wonderful.

Crochet Goddess said...

We have lot's of lighting bugs here in NC. I enjoy them too!

Betty Hechtman said...

How nice that you have lots of them, Crochet Goddess. When I was in Chicago in June, I just saw one lightening bug.