As I was reading the Knoxville News-Sentinel yesterday, I saw an article that immediately made a connection to Ailsa’s theme on Where’s My Backpack for this week’s challenge: Travel theme: Glow.
In the Great Smoky Mountains every year, fireflies put on quite a show. It’s really the firefly known as Photinus carolinus, a species that flashes synchronously around the same time each summer. Because thousands want to watch this spectacle, the U. S. Park Service sets a time for viewing the “glow” at the Elkmont firefly event.
Logistics: This year’s viewing is June 4 through June 11. You can board the shuttle to see this phenomenon at the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, or, if you’re among the first 85 requesting a car pass ($1.50) at www.Recreation.gov for no more than 6 people on a particular day, you may be lucky enough to park and walk to the area. (The Park Service will hold back 85 passes for folks who don’t know they need one, but after those are gone, there will be no more issued.) Be sure to check this website for more information.
Etiquette: There’s even firefly show etiquette: people should cover their flashlights with red or blue cellophane so as not to impair people’s night vision.
The fun of it: From what we’ve heard (we’ve never been), the firefly show is phenomenal: thousands of fireflies blinking their little lights in tandem producing one of nature’s best special effects. I’m hoping we can go this year. It’s a glow we’d like to bask in!
For more information:
“Firefly viewing in Smokies set for June 4-11.” Knoxville News-Sentinel (April 28, 2014). Retrieved from http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2014/apr/28/firefly-viewing-in-smokies-set-for-june-4-11/
“Synchronous fireflies.” Website for Great Smoky Mountains. Retrieved from http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/fireflies.htm
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