Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fireflies from Brue Ridge Parkway

Fireflies Monday, June 17, 2013 near mile 342.1 on Blue Ridge Parkway, McDowell Co, NC.

These 3 images show two types of fireflies at the same time.  The common yellow-blinking firefly Photinus pyralis, and the rare long-burning Blue Ghost Firefly (BGF), Phausis reticulata.  These time exposures show the greenish-yellow dashed flight paths of the common firefly and the long continuous greenish flight paths of the BGF.  Click on the individual photos to see larger images.  The common firefly (Photinus pyralis) began flying first as darkness fell, followed a few minutes later by Phausis reticulata.  The brighter light of the the common firefly greatly overshadowed the dim BGF for the first hour or so until the common firefly diseminated upward leaving the BGFs more readily visible near the ground. This population of BGFs is at 3,800' elevatin and is about 25 mi SE of Brown Mountain. 

Specifically it is situations where only 1 or 2 BGFs are present at any given time in a totally dark forest that could be mistaken for mysterious Brown Mountain Lights by an uninformed or unsuspecting individual.

These time exposure photos were taken with a tripod-mounted Canon EOS REBEL T3i DSLR camera with a 50 mm lens set near infinity focus, f/2.5 and ISO-6400

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