Night of the Fireflies

Nothing makes one feel like a kid again like chasing fireflies. But it is one thing to have seen a few in the backyard and quite another entirely to witness several massive trees illuminated with fireflies! Curious to know what the experience feels like, we quizzed a friend Gayathri about her magical fireflies encounter from last year. “It’s like several strands of Christmas lights strung through the branches of trees” said Gayathri with an awestruck expression. Here’s an excerpt from our extraordinary conversation…Fascinating and how!

1.       Complete the sentence –

Looking at a million fireflies is like…

First thing that comes to the mind is Magic. Looking at a valley full of these tiny insects flashing their lights in a sequence is like ripples created on water after dropping a stone, from each tree lighting up to every single tree after that in a line covering an entire valley. Except for the part that the ripples are synchronized light signals, sometimes it appears as if a spaceship has landed in the forest. 

 

2.       Fireflies light up the world in search for love. Can you elaborate?

The flashing of the light that comes from the fireflies is their way to communicate. Just before the monsoon the warm temperature makes it perfect for these nocturnal beetles to come out and flash their light to find the perfect mate with responding blinking light signals. Their sole purpose is to be able to reproduce. The firefly’s secret lies in the chemical reactions of the substance luciferin, the enzyme luciferase and oxygen. Special cells called photocytes use luciferase to trigger this process, with oxygen as fuel. The result is cold light—so named because it produces virtually no heat. 

 

3.       Your favourite magical firefly moment?

You know how beautiful a silhouette of a tree appears against the setting sun? I was sitting under a tree and looked up to the sky, half-way up from the tree trunk to the tip of its branches the tree appeared as a silhouette with edges glowing fluorescent. The background light of the tree were flashes of light from the fireflies. So the tree in the darkness magically appeared and disappeared each second.   

 

4.       Beauty is often short-lived. How true is that in case of fireflies?

Fireflies live in damp or humid areas to retain moisture; however, they cannot take the cold or face a downpour. The adult firefly lives briefly, and focuses its energy on reproduction. The pre-monsoon humid temperature is perfect for them to find a mate, reproduce. Once it starts raining you would see them falling from the sky like shooting stars. Its sad to see that the bright bioluminescence they had is now fading out to black.

Does this conversation have the same bewitching effect on you like it did for us? Well in that case, we have just the right thing for you! Come join us as we head to Bhandardara with www.riversandridges.com to spend an exceptional night of the fireflies. An extraordinary night is followed by a trek to Sandhan Valley, the Valley of Shadows.

 

There will be two batches going out. Here are the details for the same…

 

Dates: 23rd-24th May and 6th-7th June

Age group: Open to all

Contact: +91 7350064961

Website: www.riversandridges.com

Fb: www.facebook.com/riversandridges

Tags: pune, travel around pune, a night of fireflies, rives and ridges

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