Cool summer nights can be symbolized by one small, luminescent beetle – the firefly (lightning bug). Come sit on one of our porches or in one of our remote gardens at The Orchard Inn and enjoy Mother Nature’s light show! Truly, there are few things in this world that are more fascinating than a forest or field flocked by flickering fireflies!
As a matter of interest, the firefly is quite an extraordinary insect! The light that eminates from the abdomen is cold light and is the result of a reaction between two chemicals – luciferin and luciferase. Each species of firefly has its own flashing rhythm that other members can recognize for mating purposes. Even their larva is bioluminescent!
Scientists believe that one reason fireflies and their larva illuminate is to tell predators, “Hey! We aren’t very tasty!” It’s true. Many luminescent creatures do not make good meals for other animals. So, not only is their glorious glow attractive to humans and other fireflies, it’s also a deterrent to others who may seek to do them harm!
So, why is The Orchard Inn a good place to see fireflies? First of all, fireflies like cool, moist air. Our summer mountain air is the perfect habitat for these lovely living lights! Also, fireflies seem to typically congregate around the edges of woods and around water and away from city lights. Therefore, our 12 acre retreat beckons to many species of these lovely wood sprites, even the illusive “blue ghost”.
As children, many of you may have had the joy of catching fireflies. This sweet pastime doesn’t have to belong only to the young. The young at heart can participate too, and perhaps even enjoy the activity more! Because of deeper knowledge and understanding of fireflies, adults can sit and marvel at the chemical romance that occurs in a container full of fireflies. One does have to be very careful when catching fireflies though as they are delicate creatures and their numbers are dwindling. First of all, be sure to have a glass container that has holes poked in the lid for air. Be very gentle and use a soft insect net when catching and placing the lighting bugs in your container. You don’t want to hurt their fragile wings and bodies. Most importantly, do not keep your fireflies in captivity for more than a day. While you have them in their temporary “homes” watch them as they light up their small space. Really study their amazing, little bodies. The next night, release them away from bright light, and let them fly away to find their mates in peace.
Beauty can be found in the tiniest of things and when you’re here at our Inn, we want you to rest and realize what a wonderful world we inhabit. Take a night and enjoy our quiet retreat and frolic with our fireflies! Be enchanted by their ember-like abdomens and see if these tender, little fliers don’t endear themselves to you.