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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Visitor's Firefly Stories....

Visitor's Firefly Stories

On this page are emails I've received from people who have taken time to share their own stories and memories about fireflies. 

Comments?  I'd love to hear from you too!

I enjoyed your writings about fireflies.  I started looking things up about them after my 9 year old granddaughter finally discovered them.  (we live in Colorado and she was camping with relatives in Kansas and discovered this little joy of nature).

Amazing!  My husband and I took the dogs on a  walk Thursday eve down a path near our home here in Virginia.  The time was around 9:15P.  As we approached a small wooded area, we noticed the trees lit up like Christmas trees with THOUSANDS (and more) fireflies. As we entered the pitch black wooded area, we did not notice them any longer.  It was so black in the midst of the woods even the dogs were a bit frightened. The fireflies' lights would have set us at ease! Once we exited the woods at the opposite end, thousands more lightning bugs lit up the exit.   It was magical, exciting, wonderful and romantic all at the same time.  What a lovely experience!  We have never seen anything like it and hope to see it again soon!  This firefly encounter excited us to learn about this phenomena. 

I'm in Connecticut and have been seeing lightning bugs here since the second week in May. To the best of my knowledge and other people around here, no one can remember seeing them around here till the end of June/4th of July. Also, they are flying at tree-top level and zipping around, not meandering about and we all remember them as flying low in the bushes. I know this past winter was a long and hard one but we all didn't collectively lose our minds. Observing this early and odd behaviour of the fireflys here this year is starting to freak us out. Is it normal to their nature, is it a reaction to weather?, or are we crazy?

Are there still no commercial locations for purchasing fireflies? We don't see too many in Utah, it would sure be nice to see more!

I have been informed by my grandmother that fireflies once DID reside about 30 miles west of Salt Lake City, Utah. I am not ready to give up on the pursuit of raising fireflies from their larvae stage and having their glowing butts light up my yard. They bring such a peace to my broken heart. What is the world coming to when you can't even raise some of God's finest creatures for all the money in the world?

They're hereeeeeeeeee!!  In NC, pulled a typicial 'southern stunt' last week---grabbed the digital camera and was trying to take a picture as close up of them as i could.  DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TRYING TO FOCUS A CAMERA WHILE YOU'RE TRIPPING OVER THINGS AT THE EDGE OF THE WOODS GOING AT FULL GALLOP?  After getting conked  by a few limbs I just held the camera out and clicked away.  After a few minutes of this, I hurried inside--downloaded and yeah, right I forgot to do the no-flash thing!  but I got some pretty pictures of trees, bushes and NOT A SINGLE YELLOW GLOW DID I GET!!!!  I'll have to pull another 'southern stunt' and get a chair situated in the right spot and wait for nightfall.  This time I'll have the binoculars ready with the camera 'duct taped' (another southern thing as you know) to the noc's so I can really zoom in on those 'fast flying beautiful works of nature' and if, mind you IF I happen to get a picture I'll email it to you.

No fireflies in N. J. yet.  We have no cicadas either.  Just lots and lots of ants.   I bought some peppermint oil and put it on cotton, ringed around my computer.  I would hate for the little darlings to get into the computer's works and mess it up.  Or electrocute their little selves.

By the way, we called them lightening bugs in Virginia when I was growing up.   I am doing some columns about alternatives to TV.   Catching lightening bugs and putting them in jars and setting them beside the bed to watch was mentioned.

My Aunt Mil would pay me a nickel for each firefly I caught. It's a good way to teach a girl not to be afraid of bugs. I miss my Aunt Mil.

... The sheer delight of sitting on the porch on a calm, star-filled night, using fireflies or locusts to hone your by-site-and-sound shotgun snap shooting skills.

...used to catch 'em as a kid.  To quote John Wayne, sorta, "I never shot no firefly that didn't deserve it".  Never met one in my younger days that "deserved it".

And since there are no fireflies in Colorado, none are getting shot around here either..

Do you know when the fireflies will be in Tennessee.  I know there is only 3 weeks when the special fireflies are at metcalf bottoms in the smoky moutains.

Enjoyed you web page. You may enjoy my story about fireflies entitled "Summer Dance of the Fireflies."  It was inspired by my childhood experience living in Brooklyn NY and waiting for the summer fireflies to arrive in an old vacant lot. 

just thought you might want to know that we have seen our first fireflies of the season. 

April 12th, my husband thought he saw them and we both have seen several tonight, April 13th. 

We were discussing how early they are this year and in doing a search to determine the time of year they "come out".. I found your site.

I am a pre school teacher in California and have wonderful hands on science tables in my classroom. I teach 3-4-5 year olds. I would like to know if there is anywhere I can purchase some fireflies?

I was hoping to find information on when fireflies tend to make their yearly appearance, and you indicated usually June and July, when summer begins.
Last year I went out to visit friends who now lived in Missouri. I went in September and was disappointed to have missed the glow guys. As a California native who has not travelled a lot, I was hoping I would see them.

My question: Do you think the end of May (Memorial Day) would be too early for the bugs to show up? I know it depends on whether the summer starts to heat up early, but in your experience as a resident in states where they live, what have you found? I plan to make a return visit this year and silly though it may sound, I'd like to arrange it so I could see these magical critters. Would mid-June be a safer bet?

Copyright 2001-2006 Sheila Moss

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