Photo courtesy National Geographic

Dimming Lights

National Geographic Magazine’s June issue is reporting that:

“If the dark seems a little bit darker these days — and the world a bit less wonderful — it probably is. Researchers in Asia, Europe, and North America are seeing dramatic declines in fireflies.

Thailand is one place that seems to be losing the bioluminescent beetles. For centuries they blinked along the Thai rivers with splendid synchronicity. Foreign visitors compared their lights to chandeliers or Christmas candles. Locals were able to fish solely by their flashes.

But the glow appears to be fading. “Twenty years ago I saw many, ” says Thai entomologist Watana Sakchoowong. “Now there are no more.”

Scientific counts are just starting No one has yet confirmed what’s causing the population drops, but experts suspect habitat loss and light pollution.”

If you’d like to help tally firefly population totals, check out this website: Museum of Science Firefly Watch

Also see:

Fireflies Courting at Dusk in Central Park 

Annette Marie Hyder
Previously Published in Fairytales and Much Ado

Stars fell
like fireflies tipped
from cradles in the sky.

Twigs and besoms
browned and crumbled
no longer able to fly.

Cobweb thread and petal fabric
shirt, vest and dress.

The unspooled thread
of Puckish laughter
lay in a knotted mess.

Feathers flew
back to rightful owners —
songbird’s breast and nest —

no more to be
splendor on hat
badge of sartorial zest.

The trees sighed
with mourning
to again be merely trees

to give up being castles —
their turrets back to branches
pennants back to leaves.

The mouse, the worm
the beetle too, were
released from their service

no more to mount
light heeled gallants
and meet in moonlit skirmish.

The flowers wept
pollen tears
the grasses chanted a lament

while earth and sky
hissed and crackled
with the energies unpent.

And what of
the fair folk themselves?
No matter what they tried

they hardened into black marks —
turned into words in books —
the night the magic died.

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