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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the Columnists.com, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
Humorists.com
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Reader's Firefly Comments....
 


Readers Firefly Comments


Note:  This is one of my favorite pages because people have taken time to share their own stories and memories. These actual accounts are far better than anything I could write. 


Kim Taylor
FireflyMagic.com

Hi Sheila, just found your "Reader's Firefly Comments...." andand thought you may be interested in what we do, as we all love Fireflies, yet so many parts if the Country don't have them. That's why the head of our little company invented the most accurate and realistic relicas of Mother Nature's Firelfies in the World. Our patented micro-electronic circuitry actually creates the realsitic flash, flicker, and fade of real fireflies.


Jacob from South Carolina

Just finished reading about other stories and memories of the fireflies. I am from sc but my grandparents used to take us to see our aunt and uncle in Oak Ridge Tenn. We caught fireflies in small nets and my aunt would put them in baggies and freeze them then sold them (dont know who) for research. at the time it was so much fun and excitement to watch and catch. to this day i still dont know who they were sold to but i just smile when i think of the memories of playing on the ranch with my cousins and enjoying the great beauty of the fireflies.


Harry George
Fireflies for the firefly deprived

I dabble in fireflies too, make the little rascals.


My Name is Erin Gentry, I am getting my master's degree studying entomology, I have an answer for Cindy from California. 

Fireflies don't need as much oxygen as most people think they do, they need humidity more than anything. If she finds a small jar, and puts a slice of apple in it, she should be able to keep the fireflies alive for up to 3 weeks. She should keep changing the apple though. However, keeping fireflies alive and getting them to flash like they do in the wild are two very different things. I think the best thing would be to take her kids to see fireflies, they would appreciate it more outside!!!

DO NOT PUNCH HOLE IN THE CONTAINER!!! This is the kiss of death for fireflies since they need humidity. If you bring a firefly in a container with holes into your nice dry house it will desiccate. I saw a commercial on tv for e-toys where this father buys a special firefly house for his son so they could have some father/son bonding, the firefly house had a mesh screen. The father more or less bought a firefly death-trap!!! You want to keep in as much humidity as you can. Like I said, they don't need much air, so keep the lid on tight and change the apple slice every two days, the firefly should be fine.


Cindy from California 

I moved to California many years ago to be with my Mom. I visited Chicago four times in ten years. I now have three children that have never seen or even heard about the fireflies. This summer my boyfriend flew back to Chicago to see his family and the only thing I asked for a souvenir was a handful of fireflies to show to my children. After reading up on the bugs I learned spring is the best time to see them. I think I was more disappointed than my children. What I am trying to find out with your websight is there anyway to send live lightening bugs out to California, or maybe different websights that can show the kids how much fun the little critters can be? 


Talli in Iowa 

Growing up in Minnesota, the only time we ever saw lightening bugs, fireflies, was while on vacation in Nebraska or South Dakota, maybe it was because we lived in town instead of the country. Anyway my Mom, who died almost twenty years
ago, when I was twelve, used to tell us about the lightening bugs and how she and her older sister used to make rings out of them! And how they used to catch a jar full of them and use them as a nite light while sleeping in a homemade tent outside their house. I now live out in country in SE Iowa, with lightening bugs galore, but until I read your site, I had forgotten all about her stories of lightenbugs! Thank you so much! It was a great reminiscence. 


Brooklyn NY  

Do I remember fireflies? Of course I do. When I was growing up in Brooklyn we would all get some kind of jar with a lid from Mom and wait until it got dark to run through the streets catching the "lightening bugs". It was fun and we always let them out later.

Bob Slone


Oka from Michigan 

Yes, I most certainly remember fire-flies. I was surprised to see the E-mail regarding them as a friend and I were discussing that the children of today will never have had the opportunity of such innocent fun--at no cost, but your time. For 1 year we lived on a farm in Northern MI, and my sisters and I would grab our mother's canning jars & lids and away we'd go to get to watch them in the jars. After awhile, we'd be overcome with guilt and release them. Oh to go back to the simpler times. I wouldn't realize how fortunate I was--until I read the newspaper or listen to the news. I thank God for those days & free nights. 

Sincerely, Oka /:)


Gwen  

Last night, my son and I went out to water a tree in the yard. It was about 11pm and I happened to look out onto our property and I was astonished to see thousands of "lightening bugs" in our pecan trees. It looked liked Christmas with all the lights twinkling. I had my son go back into the house and get my husband and daughter. We surprised them with a beautiful sight! I never knew we even got lightening bugs here because it has been such a long time since I've seen them. What a delight! We enjoyed seeing them so much last night that tonight the kids and I went back out about 11:30pm and caught three in a jar and brought them into the house to study them. After brief examination, my son released them back into the yard. We got on the internet to learn what makes them glow that yellow-green magical light. What a magical, learning experience! I, and my children, love those mysterious little lightening bugs!! It's the little joys in life that have such meaning. 


Ms. Bletcher

i was in my early twenties the first time i saw fireflies. they were amazing to a california girl! i never saw anything so wondrous!


Debra in NC

HI I'm a security guard at Borg Warner at Fletcher NC I went out last Wed. to take down the USA and other flags and sitting on my flag when it came down was a NC FIREFLY 


Anonymous

Your column about the Fire fly was great. It brought back so many memories of my childhood sitting on the porch steps watching as the lightning bugs flitted around us and even now in my forties, there lights bring me joy.


KDifie

I h
ave great childhood memories of fireflies,, we did call them Lightning bugs... I thoroughly enjoyed your site on Tennessee Fireflies and shared it with many of my friends .....  I will be checking back on a regular basis..... Thanks for the memories... and the little life's lessons 


Penny- Fireflies in Georgia

Hi from Georgia where we had the great fortune to catch lightning bugs in the backyard with our grandson when he spent the night with us this past Saturday. It was delightful to watch him running around like "greased lightning" grabbing for the colorful creatures. He caught a few and enjoyed having a very special nightlight before letting them go the next day at his house. One of the fireflies light was stuck in the "on" position and Billy said we had caught the "Master of the Lightning Bugs" and that was his signal to all the other bugs so that they could find him if they needed him. It's good to know that the summer adventure continues down through the ages.


SC Fireflies

my daughter and I just finished watching lightning bugs in our yard here in s.c. she loves to catch them and watch them take flight again from her hand.


M. Williams 

While looking for fireflies - `or lightning bugs' as Mississippi folks call them I ran upon this neat page of humor. Thanks, but where are the `bugs?' 


T.J. 

I have been thinking about fireflies alot lately. Maybe it's because I'm looking to think about the most peaceful times I can remember. I was surprised to find this page and was more surprised to find out the firefly facts that were a part of the page. Glad I found ya!


Nancy Nowlin 

I am a Chattanooga, Tennessee native now living in Seattle, Washington. It is August in Seattle, and today, it suddenly hit me what was missing from my life: fireflies. While I love the Pacific Northwest, I miss the lazy, balmy evenings of my childhood. There is something truly magical about a Southern twilight. If I close my eyes, I can still smell the honeysuckle filling the air, feel the moist, heavy air around me occasionally brushed aside by a cool breeze, hear the porch swing creaking, and see the other-worldly twinkle of the fireflies (or lightning bugs, as we called them). Seattle has it's advantages: cool weather (before I moved here, I couldn't believe that people could survive without air conditioners), beautiful, bold scenery, and great coffee. I know now, however, that all of Seattle's advantages can't compensate for the absence of the firefly; a little bug that has, for me, come to symbolize innocence lost and the long-gone childhood joys of summer nights back home.


Jeanne Brooks 

... Did you know there is a place in Tennessee where all the fireflies blink together-it only happens about 6 weeks of the year-they think it has to do with mating-I think it's Elkhart? (Maybe everybody knows this because I've heard the woods fill up with people to see it.) This is supposed to only happen one other place. I don't know if this is true or not. Thank you for your website. Jeanne

Author's Note: Thanks to Jeanne for telling me about the synchronized fireflies.  I found them and the article "A Shining Moment" came from the research and visit.


elena robisch 

I have a question. I am recent arrival to the south. This past weekend I went camping and viewed a large meadow with several hundred fireflies. One firefly's light went from flashing to staying on as the firefly flew horizontal. Was this an indication it had found it's mate and a mating ritual resulted? Would appreciate an answer from any entomologist out there! Thanks. 


Shayla Gann 

Does anyone know where you can purchase fireflies? I know there is a market for live butterflies, but I like my flies with a little spark-not a little oleo. Please email me- thidwick@moose-mail.com. Thanks. 

Author's Note: As far as I know, there are no commercial sources for purchasing live fireflies. See the post from Harry George for a simulated electronic version.


Kuang Li 

My dad looked out the window and said how there are lots of fireflies outside. I asked my mom if she would help me catch one, but she kept saying that I never would. In less than a minute, I came in the house with a firefly in my jar! 


Vicki 

I remember when me and my sister were about 5 -&- 7 years old, we lived in Maryland and used to catch fireflies by the hundreds in glass jars, then let them go. I have never seen any since. I often wondered if it was just a dream. If it was, it was nice. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. Vicki 


B. Blackburn 

My grandmother recently passed away, and when I went back for the funeral, I also had the chance to walk in the back yard of her house in Kentucky - where the memories of lightning bugs came flowing back. My brother and I, along with some cousins, used to catch them, then either put them in a jar with some grass to eat (we were young) or pinch off their "lights" when they were lit up, and put a row of them across a finger to make a glow in the dark "ring" (we were really young).

I now live in Colorado, and most of the folks out here have no clue about lightning bugs, and I feel kind of sorry for them. 


Rhonda 

Hi! My daughter and I were sitting outside on our swing last night watching the "lightning bugs" and were wondering how they worked. I searched the web and voila, there were our answers. Thank you so much for the wonderful insight on our fireflies! Being a Christian, it was an inspiration to me to "Let My Light Shine Too!" Sincerely, Rhonda


Brita 

My family recently moved to Alabama and got our first look at real fireflies. The pure joy and delight on my children's faces will be a memory I will cherish forever!


West Coast Resident

My first fireflies

I am from the Seattle area and just returned to my motel from a very bad business trip in the Springfield, MO area. I was sitting on the deck of my motel room making some notes from the day and reflecting on the bad day I had. I glanced up from my laptop and saw all these little flashes of light on the lawn! At first I thought I was seeing things. But then I realized I was seeing fireflies! Thousands of them. I had heard of them but I assumed they weren't real. I sat a watched them until it got dark. Soon I realized I was sitting there with a smile on my face and had completely forgot about my bad day.  You are so lucky to have fireflies!


MS

I do remember fireflies and have great time in the summer sharing the fun with our children. When I was a child I remember pretending that the lighted portion was a diamond. Tonight I saw a glow worm for the first time.. hoping fireflies aren't far behind. We live in PA.


Stories are either from an old 
Guestbook or are used by permission.
Thanks to all submitters!


Copyright 1999 Sheila Moss
 
 



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