Firefly Reports from Colorado
Selected by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law

To submit your own report email burger@burger.com
Please include your city/town and state, and the date of your sighting. Include as many details as you can, such as numbers of fireflies, location (rural/city/wooded area, etc), temperature, time, and so on. Thanks for helping with this project.

Below are reports from Colorado, listed in date order, alphabetically by city.

Aurora:

May 26, 2012: A reader writes: Tonight while walking with my daughter and her dog we saw one firefly in the wetland area behind our house. It was 77 degrees F at 9:09 pm in Aurora, Colorado, in the Auburn Hill Area. We have never seen them in Colorado before.

Bellevue:

July 17, 1999: A reader notes: Tonight, July 17,1999, at 9:30 pm I saw fire flies in Bellevue, Colorado. I saw several dozen in a field by the Cache La Poudre river. I didn't think fireflies were west of central Kansas. Do other people see them in Northern Colorado? Tonight I also saw fireflies in the field behind my friends' house. My friends had told me that there were fireflies behind their house and I didn't believe them. I had actually bet them a sizable wager they had no fireflies. I was wrong! This evening I say several dozen flies lighting up around their house. It was only the second time in my life I was able to see their glory! It gave me goose bumps of excitement and reminded me of seeing them out side of my aunt's house in Linn KS around 1985.

Boulder:

July 15, 2002: Stan Garnett writes: I have lived in Boulder, Colorado, since 1968 and in Colorado all of my forty-six years. I have never seen fireflies west of Central Kansas where I used to vacation as a child on my cousins' farm. Our home backs up on open space near South Boulder Creek. On the night of July 13, about 10 o'clock, my wife and I were enjoying the cool of the evening on our back porch. To our amazement, we saw several dozen fireflies scattered throughout the high grass of the open space (which is an irrigated pasture). We called our neighbors and all watched them on Sunday night, the 14th. When we excitedly told our 16 year old son, he replied, "Yeah, my friends and I have been seeing those out there for years. We didn't know they were any big deal." Have others seen fireflies in Colorado? Are they more prevalent this year because of the drought somehow (maybe, less spraying for mosquitoes).
July 22, 1999A reader notes: A friend of mine that lives in the same neighborhood I do (northeast Boulder, Colorado)told me about seeing fireflies in a marshy area near us. So, on July 6, 1999 my husband and I walked over around 9 PM and checked it out. There were probably a couple hundred flying over a marshy area. It was still a little bit light out, but it was easy to see the fireflies. We stopped by again last night (July 21, 1999) and saw them, although it didn't seem like there were as many. This is the first time I've ever seen fireflies in Colorado.

Boulder County:

June 24, 2002: A reader writes: I live in unincorporated Boulder County, Colorado, about 13 miles North East of Boulder. The run off from Boulder Creek goes through our property. Last night around 10:30 pm I was outside near the creek and saw a small but bright light flashing. I told my husband - he also saw it. He went closer to our fence and actually saw the firefly! Then it went away. I will watch for it again. As an "East coaster" I saw tons of them. It was very cool to see one in Colorado. Any comments? How unusual is this?

Durango:

July 16, 2011: A reader reports: Hello. I was fishing from a raft last night on the Animas river about ten miles south of Durango, Colorado, and we saw fireflies! Western slope of Colorado? Highly unusual. I have lived in this are for the last ten years and this is a first. Temps were in the high 50s; time about 9:45 pm, easy westerly breeze, full moon/partial clouds. Two of us saw about 30 fireflies. Have not seen these insects in Colorado, I thought it was a mid-west thing. Well, they are now in the very dry southwestern corner of the state.

Fort Collins:

June 29, 2013: A reader notes: Last night had one perched on the outside of my glass door in south Fort Collins, Colorado. This was the second time I have seen fireflys in the area, as we saw a few near Boyd Lake a few years ago. This one was a vivid green, very bright, almost like a Gwen LED. Pretty cool!

July 20, 2011: A reader notes: We live on a farm in north Fort Collins, Colorado, and tonight around 9:30 pm we saw a single firefly along one of our ditches. It was glowing a very bright amber color and stayed there, hanging out on a piece of tall grass while we watched for a few minutes. We have NEVER seen a firefly in Colorado before. So cool.
July 14 2011: Donna Merrill reports: Tonight, around 9:15 pm, I saw a firefly next to Trapper's Point Lake in Fort Collins, Colorado. Temperature was the mid-70s. It was slightly cloudy. There was a very slight breeze. This was the first firefly I have seen here at my house.
June 25, 2011: Nate Lovator writes: At 9:25 pm in Fort Collins, Colorado, . I would guess the temprature was between 75-80 degrees. It was very dry, saw one here, one there, and no more than three at once. It was amazing. I had never seen a firefly before. I did not know we had them in Colorado.
July 12, 2010: :A reader writes: I have seen fireflies in Ft. Collins, Colorado, a couple of weeks ago, the third week of June. I was in a field along a bike path just west of Taft Hill Between Laporte and Vine streets, there's a little cattail marsh there. I was out in this marsh at about ten pm, and I saw one (only one) flying around, lighting up the area. And now, this night of July 12th, I was out there again and saw a full dozen or so of the glorious creatures. I grew up in the east where we had them in abundance every summer, and now I get to share with my children one of my fondest memoies of childhood, for truly there are fireflies in Ft. Collins, Colorado.
July 9, 2002: Melinda writes: My boyfriend and I were fishing at the Prospect Ponds in Fort Collins, Colorado, on both the 5th & 6th of July 2002. The Cache la Poudre River is approximately 1000 ft. from where we were located. Both nights the sighting occurred between 9:30 PM & 11:00 PM. The high temperature on both days had been around 90. On the 5th, I had seen a bug flying out of the corner of my eye that looked as though it was lit up. I disregarded the occurrence as "it must have been light reflecting off of it somehow from somewhere" and besides fireflies don't live in Colorado! In the 23 years of living here never seen one and had never heard of anyone here seeing one, that is until the next night. My boyfriend was walking on the path that goes between two of the ponds when he comes running back to the picnic table and tells me he had just seen a "lightning bug." I really didn't believe that what he had seen could even possibly be a firefly. I had always heard that they didn't live in the Western states, let alone Colorado. Upon seeing the reports of sightings in Colorado & more importantly in the general area of the where our event took place, it is actually quite convincing to me now that we actually did see them. Particularly the fact that the sightings have other similarities besides being in the general area, but also because most of the sightings happened near water (river, etc.). I've always wanted to see one. Hopefully I'll get to see one again. If I do, I won't dismiss it as - nothing. :)
June 26, 2002: A reader reports: I live in Fort Collins, Colorado, and have resided here for 28 years. I had seen fireflies in Missouri many years ago, but we have NEVER seen them here in my home town. We saw our first fireflies here in Fort Collins last night. My husband had gone fishing in the evening along the Poudre River, and came home a little after dusk with a jar full of the little guys! My children were enthralled! We let them go and watched them hang about the house for a few hours. We plan to go see my husbands fishing spot this evening, and see the whole swarm!

Greeley:

2011

July 3, 2011: A reader writes: Tonight, July 3, 2011, in the midst of fireworks going off I spotted some fireflies in my neighborhood in west Greeley, Colorado. About 77 degrees tonight. Last year we spotted them in a field near our house and none of our Colorado friends believed us until we took them out to the field one night. Our kids were able to catch a few last summer. I caught one tonight to take a picture and then let it back outside.

Johnstown:

July 10, 2013: A reader reports: Saw some fireflies last night right after dusk skimming through the corn on my property in Johnstown, Colorado. Thought it odd. Never seen them in the two summers I've lived at this house nor ever in the 8 years in Colorado. The farmer had not even started to irrigate yet. But we recently had some severe thunderstorms creating a humid environment for this area.

Lafayette:

June 24, 2011: A reader writes: I have lived in Lafayette,Colorado, since 1979. Tonight, at dusk, in our back pasture, for the first time ever, there were hundreds of fireflies hovering over our marsh. It was so incredibly delightful. I grew up in Illinois catching them nightly. When I was very young, I did what many others do, put them in a jar. And every morning when I got up, they were gone! It took me awhile to figure out my parents let them escape when I fell asleep.

Laporte:

July 2, 2011: A reader writes: Hello. Mike from Fort Collins here. The last three evenings at least there have been THOUSANDS of fireflies in a field near Laporte, Colorado. It is just a hay field fairly near the Cache La Poudre river. It has been mid 80s and dry this week, following one of the bigger rain storms I have seen in 25 years in Fort Collins.

Larkspur:

May 27, 2012: Cathy Crump Vonderhaar notes: Saw a single firefly tonight. We were sitting outside at dusk and I thought it was a fire ember, but there was no fire around. I followed it into the woods. It was clearly a firefly. Had no clue there were any in this area of Perry Park Ranch, Larkspur, Colorado.

Loveland:

May 21, 2005: Andrew Barney notes: I read a report on fireflies in Wisconsin. The person writing thought it was too hot and dry here for them. If you are priviliged like me, you might see a few near the river on the bike trail here in Loveland, Colorado.
June 27, 1998: A reader reports: I haven't seen fireflies since leaving the midwest many years ago. Just went for a walk an hour after sunset and saw dozens of very bright (white-yellow) and often very fast moving fireflies. Not a chance of catching these! We're in a rural area near Loveland, Colorado, and we spotted an occasional firefly along an irrigation ditch, with dozens in an area near a small river. That area does have particular vegetation which might be a factor. It's been in the 80's and low 90's in the day times for the past week, and it was in the mid-70's when we saw them.

NE Boulder:

July 2, 2002: Mike Exner reports: The wetlands along Four Mile Creek, just north of the soccer fields in NE Boulder, Colorado, are alive again this year with thousands of the little bugs. I did not see them last year, but others in my neighborhood report seeing large numbers this time last year too. First time I can remember seeing them since I moved to Colorado in 1963.

Pueblo, West:

July 7, 2002: Ruth Frye notes: Saw your address when we looked up fireflies on Google. We were visiting our daughter and her family in Pueblo West, Colorado, for July 4. Because of drought here and numerous forest fires which have had us all living in a cloud of smoke for 2 weeks or more, many cities cancelled fireworks displays. Pueblo did have its usual show, but we thought we would see what we could from her deck. We did see a few bursts, but what we were really excited to see were fireflies! I have lived in Colorado all my life and had seen them only when we visited Upper Black Eddy, PA. The fireflies in Pueblo were either very few, or very bashful because we only saw about 10 flickers. Tried to stir up some more by walking through the grass, and brushing through the sunflowers, to no avail. We are clueless as to why they were here, but it was more exciting and a lot less noisy than fireworks. Perhaps someone else saw them and contacted you.
June 27, 2001: A reader reports: I live in Pueblo West, Colorado. Yesterday we e captured a firefly beetle. My brother and I were hanging out on my land and shootin' the breeze when he noticed a bright green pulsating flash on my roof. At first I thought the poor guy was loosing his marbles, but, as time passed I was also able to see the flash. He originally thought that the flash was from a garage opener that I had misplaced several months before, so I set up a ladder and went to investigate. I discovered this small beetle just glowing away and attempted to place a bottle over it. It soon took to the air and landed in a vacant field nearby. We were able to capture it there and now have it in a jar. Not only are the kids in the family amazed at how much light these beetles can produce, but my older brother, who is 42 years old, is quite intrigued with his new little buddy.

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