The June We're All Ears challenge is to create earrings inspired by fireflies. Some of my fondest childhood memories involve what we called lightening bugs. Actually, these magical creatures are neither bug or fly, but in fact they are beetles. Many a night I enjoyed carefully watching these bugs put on a spectacular show in my backyard.
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Fireflies are found all over the world, from the Americas to Europe and Asia. In the United States, they are commonly found down South, in the Midwest, and on the East coast. Having lived on the East coast all of my life, I had lots of opportunities to view them on a warm summer evening. I also enjoyed catching them. The best time to catch fireflies is typically between June and September. They tend to come out at dusk when it is still warm out. Since I grew up in the suburbs, I was in a prime viewing location.
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Since they rely on their light patterns for mating, fireflies are more attracted to darkness so you need to wait for the sun to go down. Back when I was growing up, there were a lot less lights. Now, you probably need to turn off your outdoor lighting, such as porch lights and walkway lights, to draw in more fireflies.
They are fairly easy to catch if you approach them slowly and calmly. Once you are close enough to a firefly, reach out with both hands, and try to cup the firefly between your hands. Keep your movements slow and gentle so that you do not scare or harm the fireflies. If you plan on keeping the fireflies that you have caught, put them in a glass jar so that you can see their light. Mason jars are popular jars to store fireflies in. Most people end up putting their caught fireflies into mason jars, so you can skip a step by catching your fireflies in a mason jar. Move slowly and calmly as you move your mason jar through the air to catch fireflies. Once a firefly has flown into the opening of your jar, place the lid on top to keep the firefly inside.
Do not poke any holes in the jar, as this could dry out the air and possibly cause the firefly to get injured while trying to escape. Remember that fireflies like humid, damp spaces. It is a good idea to put grass inside the jar.
Although it can be tempting to keep fireflies for a long time, it's best to let them go after a short while. Ideally, you should free your fireflies before going to bed. If you keep them overnight, be sure to release them the following morning. They need to be in their natural habitat in order to survive, and keeping them in a jar for longer than a day can cause them to die.
When I had my own children, I shared this experience with them and I got to relive this fun summer activity. If you haven't spent time watching fireflies, you have missed out on a great experience, so go and do it!
These yellow and honey brown filigree dangle earrings are inspired by the firefly. To make this firefly jewelry I used some antique copper filigree and combined shinny copper elements with some golden glass beads and bright yellow Swarovski crystals.
My other pair of firefly earrings are sterling silver ear wires that are hand forged and hammered copper discs by me. I added hand forged copper rings and little silver charms. The copper earrings are about 2 inches long.
Don't you just love fireflies?