Weekend Showcase: Firefly Festival at Eastman Nature Center
Whether you call them fireflies or lightning bugs, their presence is fondly associated with summer. Three Rivers Parks District has an entire festival dedicated to these little ambassadors of summertime.
This is the second year naturalists at Eastman Nature Center have hosted the Firefly Festival.
“It all started when we started doing our moon walks,” said naturalist Miranda Jones. “Last year and this year we decided to make more learning stations, games for people to learn about how they glow, why they glow.”
Why do Fireflies light up?
“They glow because they are trying to attract a mate,” explained Jones. “The males will flash and they each have their different flashing patterns. The female will wait in the grass. And she will wait until she see which one is flashier, brighter, faster, and then she’ll respond when she sees the one she likes.”
When videojournalist Neil Pursley visited the Eastman Nature Center to capture video of fireflies, he noted the mosquitoes.
“I want you to have a good experience and part of that is being prepared,” said Pursley. “I was out the other night looking for fireflies and let me tell you what, for every firefly you find there’s going to be ten billion mosquitoes looking for you. So you need to be prepared. Good bug spray, bring yourself a light jacket to kind of put over you and keep them from biting you so bad. Wear long pants and have closed toed shoes. That should go a long way for providing a positive experience on firefly fest.”
Firefly Festival begins at 7:30 out at Eastman Nature Center. The cost is $5 and the event runs till 10:30.