Growing up in rural Indiana with a corn field in my backyard, summers were filled with a special delight. As dusk started to settle the lightening bugs would appear and disappear. They would flash on and off mimicking the twinkling stars far above. We would race around the yard trying to capture them. Once enclosed in cupped hands they would blink and illuminate the spaces between your fingers. This created lanterns of little hands which would fascinate us. Eventually we would open our hands to better see the lightening bugs and they would fly away. As I’ve gotten older the number of lightening bugs has diminished. There was an article blaming their decrease on light pollution. Seems the flashing light is their way of attracting a mate. If there is too much extra light they can’t find each other! That of course leads to fewer bugs in the next generation. All of this talk is because we have had a huge number of lightening bugs this year.
There are so many that three times in one week I stumbled out of bed in the early hours of the morning (2 or 3 AM) only to be surprised, startled, and terrorized by errant lightening bugs in my bathroom! Imagine being half awake and groping your way to the toilet (no lights out of consideration for your slumbering spouse). As you are sitting on the throne a small light comes on in your peripheral visual field. You swivel your head and strain to see where it is. There is no light. You think it must have been your imagination. Then right in front of you there is another blink of light! You freeze. Your heart pounds. Was a recording device activated in your bathroom?? Suddenly it appears again, this time on your bare knee. You realize what it is but not before your heart rate has peaked at 160 bpm. You are on high alert and with the toilet paper in your hand, you pounce on the light and promptly flush the blinking intruder down the toilet. The next time is not so scary and by the third time it happens you barely acknowledge the bug. I feel a little guilty for flushing them but I have a strict “no bug” policy in my bathroom!