Grandfather Mountain will hold first synchronous-firefly viewings
Grandfather Mountain will soon be the spot for a rare nighttime light show created by Mother Nature. For the first time, public viewing eventsfor synchronous fireflies will take place this summer.
Grandfather Mountain will open for two nights in late June and one in early July. It’s the mating season for synchronous fireflies. They can flash in unison, and their light patterns will illuminate the sky. This species of insect is found in the Appalachian Mountain chain, but they aren’t often found in large numbers.
Synchronous fireflies were officially confirmed on Grandfather Mountain in 2019.
Since then, scientists and researchers have been studying them and looking for ways to protect these insects. The public viewing events will be limited capacity, 200 per night. Tickets will go on sale later this month.
John Caveny, with the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, says it’s an experience that’s hard to forget.
“During the peak of the synchrony activity, there could be thousands of these fireflies flying around at one time," says Caveny. "So it will be a flash and then the flash kind of lights up in a line all the way around you and it kind of gives the sense that the forest is pulsating.”
Caveny says so far, they’ve been able to document ten different species of fireflies at Grandfather Mountain.
The nighttime viewings will also feature other illuminating insects including a species of glowworm that emits a pure blue light.