Tonight is the night America shoots off millions of dollars worth of fireworks. I’ve always enjoyed the fireworks displays on the 4th even though it’s been years since we have gone to the city center to see the “big show”. We did it on a regular basis when Nathan was little. For many years a friend of ours lived just a few blocks away from the mouth of the Fox River where they shot them off. We would park at her house then walk over with our lawn chairs and sit in a parking lot behind a warehouse. A couple of years we should have brought umbrellas because the incoming shrapnel was pretty impressive. Huge chunks flying out of the air, and some of them still hot, practically landed in our laps. My son brought home some impressive souvenirs. Other years we would drive down to a park on the bayshore to the east of the city and watch the fireworks over the water. That was pretty cool because they would reflect in the water thus giving us a double show.
As we all got older, Curt wasn’t much interested in going out so it was just Nathan and I, parking along the road or going out on a pier near the University.
Then there was our roof phase. We live on a hill about four miles from the bay of Green Bay. There are no houses or buildings across from our house, just a big field and some trees. We can see a pretty wide expanse of the horizon. Even from the ground we can see fireworks in the air from all the little towns up and down the shore. But up on the roof of our house we could also see over the trees and see Green Bay’s big fireworks’ show.
Tonight, around 9:30, after we returned home from a friend’s house the explosions and the fire in the sky was in fine form. The trees here have gotten pretty tall over the years and I am getting a little old for roof sitting so I thought I would just take a walk down our road and see what I could see.
What happened was very surprising and unexpected, I saw nature’s fireworks – fireflies. Certainly not as many as I would see when I was a kid, but definitely Fireflies! So cool! There were about 10 to 20 all along the road in the ditch and the nearby field.
I haven’t seen fireflies in years. I had heard that pesticides and loss of habitat and light pollution have caused a great decline in their numbers. When I was a kid living in Chicago the night was filled with “glowworms” in July. My Dad would punch air holes in the lid of a jar for us and then my sister and I would run around, catch the fireflies and put them in the jar. It was our little “lantern.”
So tonight, seeing those little lights flickering in the grass just brought all those memories back. It was just wonderful. But I hope catching all those fireflies wasn’t one of the causes of their decline, I don’t remember us letting them go.