Synchronized fireflies in Elkmont area of the Great Smoky Mountains

The firefly show will be here for 2010 before you know it.  If you’re wondering what I mean by a “firefly show,” it’s a unique show that can only be found 2 places on earth. One is a place in Southeast Asia.  The other is right here in the Smoky Mountains  

These fireflies flash synchronously. They may flash in waves, or flash on and off together, or all go dark at once.  It sounds like an inspiring way to spend an evening.  

Scientists don’t know why or how it happens, but it does.  I suppose this is just another aspect of “Smoky Mountain Magic.”  Since they are only adults for about 3 weeks, this firefly show only lasts for a week or so, usually the 2nd week in June each year.  The show starts at around 9:30PM each night.  The park has a trolley service that allows you to park at Sugarlands Visitor Center and ride up to the show in the Elkmont area. 

Believe it or not, these fireflies are just one of 14 different species of fireflies that live in the Smokies.

Here’s a post from my blog last year with a video of what you might see… http://gosmoky.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/catch-a-trolley-to-see-the-fireflies-work-their-light-magic-in-the-smokies/

If you plan to see the show for yourself, below is a list of “Light Show Etiquette” from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park website…

Light Show Etiquette
Flashlights disrupt the fireflies and impair people’s night vision. The light show is best when you:

  • Cover your flashlight with red or blue cellophane.
  • Use your flashlight only when walking to your viewing spot.
  • Point your flashlight at the ground.
  • Turn off your flashlight when you find your viewing spot.

You can also help protect the fireflies and their habitat:

  • Do not catch the fireflies.
  • Stay on the trail at all times.
  • Pack out all of your garbage.

Here is the park’s webpage on the fireflies… http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/fireflies.htm

If you like the photo above of the fireflies from last year, you can buy a copy on knoxnews.com… http://www.knoxnews.com/photos/2009/dec/23/74639/

I will post much more on this topic as June approaches…

-Raymond

***This post brought to you by www.SmokyMountainTower.com.  Once you’re finished watching the relaxing show of the fireflies, you will want to relax and get some sleep before another great day in the Smokies.  The best way to do that is by staying at The Smoky Mountain Tower.  Check it out!***

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