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Lampyridae

WTH?   What’s that?  That is a family name for a somewhat common insect.  Lamp in the name should give it away.  Firefly, lightning bug or glowworm.  These creatures are of the family Lampyridae.  And actually, they are NOT a fly (order diptera),  nor are they a bug (order hemiptera), and they for sure aren’t a worm.   Lightning bugs or fireflies are part of the order coleoptera–a beetle.

I graduated college and did not know any of this. But because I had some students interested in the entomology contest back about 2003, I had to learn this stuff.  They should be a fire beetle or lightning beetle.  No matter what you call them, they are a cool insect.  All because of their bio-luminescence.  The whole “light” deal is awesome.

Tonight, after the sun had set, I sat on a table in the front yard.  NO WIND!  Yes!!!!   And we had a really nice 1/2″ of rain this morning.  Not enough, but better than yesterday.  I looked to the south of the house, down the draw that used to contain about 50 does.  Now, just 4, yes FOUR.  That was cool.  But the really cool part was all of the lightning bugs, fireflies or whatever you want to call them.

I sat there and realized that this is the first of the lightning bugs that I have seen this year.  I guess they need watered in order to grow.  Whatever.  All that I do know is that it was enjoyable sitting there, watching them fly and light up the evening.

Of course, it is always cool to hit one in a vehicle and have the smeared stain glowing on a windshield.

Redneck definition of bio-luminescence.  “There it was, just shining like a diamond in a goat’s butt.  That or smeared lightning bug guts on a windshield. ”

A decade or so ago.  Probably late 90s.  Maybe, 98 or 99.  I had a young female student walk into class.  She said, “Mr. Kelln, do you know what was the last thing that went through the bug’s brain when it hit the windshield?”

I replied, “No, I don’t.”

And she answered, “His ass!  Haaa!”

Great kid with great parents and I take great enjoyment knowing that she is now a teacher with several of her own kids.  I hadn’t thought of that story in awhile.  But seeing those lightning BEETLES tonight made me think of it.

Tomorrow probably isn’t going to be as good as today was. (today, we got some rain and no wind–that’s hard to beat in this part of paradise)  But, that only means that we will be one day closer to a really good day.  Peace out, brother….or sister.  Or whatever.

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