Things that happen in the East

Although I’ve spent the last two school years in Vermont, I still consider myself thoroughly western. Thus far in my life, I have associated summer with dry days, dusty trails, sage brush and huckleberries.

This post marks the start of a summer segment–“Things that happen in the East”–in which I will detail my exciting, at times traumatic, introduction to the East. There will be mud, rain, humidity and bugs, endless adventures through the wild thickets of the Vermont wilderness, and, hopefully, all kinds of foods and people that that you just can’t find anywhere else. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll wonder why you’re still reading.

I’ll open with a highlight (yeah, I’m funny): Fireflies


A few nights ago, as I talked on the phone on our back porch, I noticed that the owners of the house had left out their Christmas lights. They were pretty crappy twinkling lights, probably from being left out all winter and spring, but they were definitely there, in the bushes across from me.

“HOLD THE PHONE,” my inner dialogue continued, “those are lightning bugs!”

I had never seen fireflies before. I had only either associated them with childhood fairytales (the old Disney Classic scene where Nala and Simba are reunited in a meadow) or with that Owl City song where someone can’t fall asleep (or something).

It was majestic. Quite an introduction to summer nights.

Can you feel the love tonight?
Can you feel the love tonight?

Fun facts about fireflies:

  • They use bioluminescence originating from chemical reactions in their abdomen to attract mates
  • That chemical reaction is between luciferin and oxygen, creating oxyluciferin (super original chemical names)
  • The wavelength of light given off is between 510 and 670 nanometers (hence the yellow light)
  • The light produced is “cold” light, which means it’s duper efficient and produces no heat
  • Firefly eggs glow
  • Adult fireflies live as long as it takes to find a mate and reproduce, which means that early bloomers may not even have time to eat before hitting the sack and…er… the grave


facts and photos sniped from,, and

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