Firefly Reports from North Carolina
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 North Carolina, listed in date order, alphabetically by city.

Charlotte:

May 23, 2005: A reader writes: Hello. I live in Charlotte, North Carolina, in the city no less. We do have fireflies, and I would love a whole lot more. It is difficult to find out anything on the firefly - life cycle, food, etc. If you have any information I would greatly appreciat it. Fireflies and Humming Birds are, well, things I would like to have more of in my back yard.
June 4, 1999: Eve writes: Hi, from Charlotte, North Carolina. We now have about 6 fireflies flashing each night right after sunset. The dates are June 3rd and 4th. They fly around and flash for maybe 6 minutes and then they are gone. They are coming out now a little earlier than my first siting of this singular one who appeared when it was pitch dark. The six of them appear about 8:30 pm when it is still a little light out. They are very luminescent with bright green flashes. Still waxing nostalgic.
May 29, 1999: A reader reports: The last several nights I have been sitting in the back yard of our apartment complex and noticed one flashing each night. We live in Charlotte, North Carolina. The first time I saw it, I was reminded of seeing lightning bugs as a child in the park during summer in Winthrop, Mass. We had a lot of them at that time and I was maybe 4 years old, possibly 5. I am now 48. From Mass. we moved to Miami Beach, Florida where I lived until I moved to North Carolina about 2 months ago. I never saw any lightning bugs in Florida. When I saw this single lightning bug, it really made me remember a very happy time in my life with my wonderful Grandmother who would take me to The Commons where they had band music at night and all these lightning bugs flying around! The dates I saw this single lightning bug were May 28 and 29th, 1999. The backyard is just like a meadow of green grass with a lot of flowering weeds and I had recently put flower pots on the porch steps-marigolds, etc., and planted Sunflower seeds. I also feed the wild birds such as bluejays, cardinals , finches and leave seeds and water for the birds on the porch steps. We had the porch light on and the weather was just beautiful-slightly cool with a light breeze. There are also two huge Poplar (?) trees in this meadow, one at each end. There are a lot of different species of ants, red ones and black ones and brown spiders and black creepy crawling bugs with a lot of legs on them. The buildings are red brick and we live off of a major street with a lot of traffic whizzing by (North Sharon Amity). It doesn't get dark here now until late like about 9 pm.
May 22, 2000:LeAnne Caton writes: I saw my first fire fly of summer last night in my backyard in Charlotte, North Carolina. Yeah! Summer is here. Do you have any information about a yearly event in the mountains of North Carolina on June 5. Several years ago, I hear a story on NPR about an unique opportunity to see the fireflies light in a certain pattern (like "the wave" if my memory serves me.) I would love to see this, but have not been able to find any information. I was searching the web when I came across you site. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
June 24, 1999: Will Jenkins reports: I enjoyed your firefly site. I live in metropolitan Charlotte, North Carolina. Regarding the absence of fireflies in Houston, I can only offer that it's probably not caused by too much ambient light at night. I live not far from "uptown" which has a lot of flashy bank buildings that are eternally lit for all to see. If the sky is overcast, there's a uniform glow to the sky from all the reflected city light. I just bought a 40 year old house here, and was excited to see all the fireflies that appeared in my yard in late May. They're all over the place still! My front yard faces a busy street, and there are nearly as many fireflies there as there are in the darker back yard. I don't think that man-made lights are off-putting to fireflies. I've seen fireflies in other older neighborhoods here in Charlotte in abundance, but can't speak for newer neighborhoods. I'd guess that soil-turning construction would disrupt their life cycle. I hope this was helpful. Good luck on getting fireflies back in Houston.
August 18, 1999: Will Jenkins reports: Since the beginning of August, I've hardly seen any fireflies. We have been under a drought condition here in Charlotte, North Carolina, for most of the summer, and I wonder if that affects how many fireflies appear. I remember them lasting into September last year.

Cherokee:

July 13, 2000: Charles Galloway writes: My wife and I also enjoy fireflies (or lightning bugs as we call them). We, too, are saddened by the sharp decline in their numbers. We live in Angier, North Carolina, about 25 miles south of Raleigh in a rural area. We've seen a few early in June, but they seemed to have disappeared. Various parts of our county seem to have them in fair numbers, but they are scarce in others. Just last weekend (7/8/00) we took a trip to Cherokee, North Carolina in the far western part of the state. We were amazed at the hillsides and fields of lightning bugs that seemed to light up the entire area from dusk until about 10:30 p.m. There must have literally been thousands! It brought back childhood memories for both of us. In our late thirties we are both realizing that the greatest joys in life come from GOD's wondrous creations--the things that cost nothing. Too often we take them for granted. We are building a new home further out into the country and hope to find ways to attract them and make a habitat that will maintain them in large numbers. We are in the heart of cotton and tobacco country and I wonder if insecticides used in agriculture have killed them off. I happened to find a website that may offer you some information. It can be found at: www.iris.biosci.ohio-state.edu/projects/FFiles/frame1.html Please let us know if you find anyone who raises or sells larvae. We would truly be interested as we want to bring them back to central North Carolina as well. Best wishes and good luck in your endeavor,

Havelock:

May 22, 2002: A reader notes: We have seen our first fireflies here in Havelock, North Carolina. They are quite beautiful. I would estimate that at around dusk they come out and we have seen as many as 25 light up at one time. I live in military base housing in Cherry Point, NC. My children love to catch them. Hope this was of some help.

Penrose:

May 23, 2005: Jack Drobisch writes: Don't know if you're still counting but we had a few fireflies last week and tonight, 5/23/05, the magic started. They are in good numbers and I am looking foward to the weeks ahead when they get real thick. I was born & raised in Florida and saw them as a kid but they seem to have disappeared in the early 60's. I now live in Penrose, North Carolina, and love to see them in June. A friend from Florida is sending his youngest son (12 years old) up here to the mountains to spend two weeks with my wife and me and I think I'm more excited than he is because he has never seen fireflies. They were so thick last year they looked like white flashing Christmas lights. It's 65 degrees and 9:30 PM. We live in a valley at the base of Jeter Mountain. There is pasture in front and forest behind us.I have the jars ready.(Memories in a bottle.) Thanks for your site!

Raleigh:

May 31, 2012: A reader notes: It's just past 9 p.m. on May 31,2012. My daughter and I just spent 15 minutes catching fireflies in Raleigh, North Carolina. All together we caught about 25 and put them in a large plastic see-through container that she is sleeping with tonight. It's a beautiful calm evening with high humidity and temps are in the low 80s. They are everywhere. The best spring of the four years I've been here. Never saw fireflies growing up in Southern California. Sent from my iPad.
July 10, 2000: A reader writes: I am so happy to have your web site to learn more about one of my favorite childhood experiences,hunting fireflies. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia where every spring and summer it was a tradition to watch for, capture and play with the lovely little glowing creatures. Now that I live in Utah and we don't have fireflies here I miss them and am so excited to visit relatives back in Georgia and North Carolina to have my children experience the thrill of an evening catching and playing with the glowing bugs. This year we were visiting both Atlanta, Georgia and Raleigh, North Carolina, and had many wonderful nights chasing and playing with fireflies. It was between May 27th and July 10th. Oh how I am thrown back to happy childhood memories to watch the excitement in my children's eyes as they see the first blinking light from a firefly at dusk on a warm summer night. I hope to always have that tradition to pass down to children and grandchildren. I can see why you would like to bring them back to Houston. What a sad thing to miss out on that tradition that you once enjoyed.Let us know how it goes.

Seven Lakes:

August 8, 2000: A reader writes: I live in the sandhills of North Carolina, Seven Lakes, North Carolina, (Moore County) to be exact. Here the air is clean, and there does not seem to be any large fire ant populations, although we do have them in certain areas of the county. I have seen the little beetles mainly in the evening hours in the fall and winter months. I still marvel at these wonderful insects and am glad that they have survived here in rural N.C. I think part of the reason that fire flies do survive here is related to zero insecticide spraying in the community and clean air quality. I wish you well in your endeavor to get the little beetles back to Texas.

Thomasville:

September 26, 2009: Hi ! I saw lighting bugs here for the first time in years. I'm a front porch setter. It's September 26th of 2009. I saw 3 out tonight; it's pouring rain. I live in Thomasville, North Carolina right outside the city limits. It was about 8;30 pm. There were lots here in early June thru August. Didn't see many after that until now. I would to keep as many as possible here, but I don't know how. I have learned this year to how to invite the hummingbirds and to be thankful for our dragonflies. Thanks.

Trinity:

June 25, 2011: Kristen Varner notes: I grew up in Trinity, NC (outside High Point) and remember catching lightning bugs as a kid in the summer around dusk and then they would somewhat disappear by dark. I purchased a house in Trinity, North Carolina, three summers ago and have witnessed the most amazing lightning bug show every summer. We notice it begin every year a little before the summer solstice. They emerge around dusk and fly through the yard where they can be caught then, by 10 pm, there are thousands in the trees blinking. It looks like the stands at the World Series. We have an area of woods and a creek that passes through it behind our house and the trees in this area are just full of lightning bugs. It is like no place I have every seen and it is only in a relatively small area. It is magical and beautiful and I can see it all from my back yard!

Wilmington:

June 14, 2005: Kat Jordan writes: Hi. My husband and I moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, two months ago. Back in southern New Jersey we enjoyed watching dozens of fireflies blink across our lawns on sultry summer nights. That was nothing compared to the firefly magic we have here in Wilmington! Our backyard ends where a large pond begins and a forest of trees is beyond the pond. Last night we were breathless at the sight of not just hundreds, but thousands of fireflies twinkling in the trees! I have never seen anything like this! This morning I sent an email to all my family and friends to tell them about this treat that nature provided us; it is soooo beautiful! We sat for a hour on our back porch, quietly watching the magic before us... how peaceful that hour was...

Yadkinville:

July 4, 2009: On July 4th (2009) we were guests of some friends near Yadkinville, North Carolina. As the day turned to dusk, fireflies began to show up in great numbers. It was great fun seeing them. Of course, there isnít much light being generated from a city and the temperature was mild. My grandchildren enjoyed chasing them, just as I did growing up. Just wanted to let you know that there are still fireflies in the country!

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