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I am blessed with 2-3 weeks of fireflies in my Shiga (Japan) backyard. Thankfully, my little town is less well known, thus allowing the insects a bit of peace. Nevertheless, I have heard that several decades ago, aerial spraying of pesticides nearly wiped ours out too.
Growing up in northeastern Massachusetts, I remember seeing a great many fireflies in the field behind my house. There was no running water there; so I don’t know where they bred/developed. Similarly, fidteen or so years ago, I was surprised to see a good number of the bugs in the open green areas on Pennsylvania Avenue in D.C.
I live on an acre of woods in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I happily allow grasses to grow at will. I’m somewhat plagued with mosquitoes but greatly rewarded with masses of fireflies. Snakes and turtles share this space. Birds abound All around my property are houses in home owner associations that dictate the height of lawn grasses, leaves must be raked and other stifling demands. I never have to rake or mow or water and again rewarded with a natural space.
I never see them in Minneapolis anymore and I sure did when I was growing up in the 60’s. This is heartbreaking.
Thank you for this touching overview of the Japanese fireflies-experience. Yes, we should do everything possible to keep this drama from repeating itself all over the world. Fireflies are too precious, their sparkle too important for this increasingly gloomy planet.