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Mine Creek Revelations: Firefly Love

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YES, I AM STILL HERE peeking out of the newspaper’s window on Main Street and I am thinking about fireflies.

One of the things I love about warmer months is the appearance of fireflies. A decade or three ago they were in my backyard in uncountable numbers. Now, I get excited when I see just one or two.

I didn’t know that fireflies flash differently in the east and west of America.

According to ‘Smithsonian’ magazine only the male firefly flashes in the east. He does it while in flight, and the reason he flashes is to notify females of his availability. “Here I am, ladies.” I suppose that ours are the eastern variety.

Out west, only the female flashes. She does it weakly and while she’s on the ground. I’m guessing that this is some sort of plan she has for only a low level notification of her availability. “I think I’ve got a headache tonight, boys.” Don’t mean to get things stirred up, it’s just my fertile imagination.

Some perfesser at a hoitsy-toitsy natural museum says that there is a sort of Continental Divide between the varieties of fireflies.

Continental Firefly Divide

It finally hit me right between the eyes. I’m talking about the name for the Continental Divide for fireflies — sometimes called lightning bugs.

It is LBGHT. Lightning Bug Gender Home Transcontinentaldivide.

If you’re looking north, on the left side of the Divide is the western firefly variety, and on the right is the eastern.

And right now you can see why the population of lightning bugs (fireflies) is declining. If they cannot make up their mind whether to flash or not flash — or whether to do it high or low — then there is no hope for the species.

I am afraid that the bugs (actually, they are beetles, not flies) just cannot make up their minds whether they are male or female, high blinkers or low blinkers, east or west, L or H.

Earlier this year, at the end of a particularly wet spring, I fully expected to fight off a swarm of houseflies anytime I set foot outdoors.

But it hasn’t happened (knock on wood). That annoying housefly swarm just did not materialize, much to my relief.

Noah shoulda banned houseflies, and skeeters from the Ark. 

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GET THE VACCINE. Sunday, a letter from the bishop was read at all Catholic churches in Arkansas. Briefly, the bishop said that the 40% of Arkansans who have taken advantage of free vaccinations must look out for the 60% who have chosen not to be vaccinated.

Bishop Anthony Tylor said local parishes can decide if they want to return to social distancing in the pews, face masks at mass, and sanitizing the church between uses.

His letter gently suggested that eligible Arkies should get the vaccine. One reason, he said, is that by getting vaccinated we cut down on further mutation of the virus. 

But his letter also noted the alarming re-emergence of the virus in our Arkansas population because people just will not get vaccinated.

Our state is among the lowest percentage of vaccinated adults, and is among the highest in percentage of the population sick with the virus.

I have been told of two area churches temporarily shut down due to the virus threat.

According to an article in CNN online, of persons who have been fully vaccinated and who still catch the virus, only 0.004% have needed to be hospitalized, and only 0.001% have died.

This week Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) has said he was vaccinated and still caught the virus. He urged Americans to get vaccinated.

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I’VE QUIT watching the Olympics to the point that I — sadly — root against some U.S. teams and athletes. Like the women’s soccer team. Like the lady discus thrower who held her arms in an ‘X’ when she was on the victory stand. Like the men’s basketball team which is made up — not of amateurs — but of NBA millionaires.

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ANIMAL CRACKERS. Maybe I was a tad early to state that our 17-year cicadas were apparently not going to show up!

Several times in the last few days I’ve heard a monster wave of the critters making mating sounds. Both times it has occurred at about 4:30 in the afternoon.

I was in hopes that the February Deep Freeze had convinced them to stay underground.

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BIBLICAL HELP. Trying to come up with a great name for a female child? Look no further than some early Jewish writings. There you’ll find such charming names as Emzara (Noah’s wife), Sedeqetelbab (Shem’s wife), Na’eltam’uk (Ham’s wife), and Adataneses (Jepheth’s wife). My source: Biblical Archeology Society.

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WORD GAMES. Often together: Slippery and slimy. Watch your step!

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HE SAID: “An object in motion tends to remain in motion along a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force.” Sir Isaac Newton, English scientist

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SHE SAID: “I think being a woman is like being Irish. Everyone says you’re important and nice, but you take second place all the same.” Iris Murdoch, Irish novelist and philosopher

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SWEET DREAMS, Baby

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