This amazing miracle known simply as the “Synchronous Fireflies” happens every year for a few weeks at the beginning of June near Elkmont in the Smoky Mountains National Park. I can’t even manage to sync my iPod half the time and yet these fireflies, officially known as Photinus carolinus, manage to blink together! Apparently the motivation is the mating season and this flashing gets them noticed by all the right fireflies. These little guys blink five times and then pause but that’s not the amazing part. The miracle is that thousands of them are doing it together, blinking and pausing, in perfect precision.
I first had the pleasure of seeing this a few years back, and it is something I try and return yearly to enjoy. First and foremost you MUST reserve a seat on the trolley. Seeing as this event only occurs once a year (in only two places on the planet), let’s just say it gets a little crowded! If you are way ahead of the game, enjoy a bit of outdoor camping, then you can reserve a spot at the nearby Elkmont campgrounds and just walk to the location. Otherwise the trolley is imperative.
When to go: First 2 weeks in June. Arrive around 6pm to take the trolley and enjoy a light dinner in the woods. Show starts at dark!
What to bring: A picnic blanket, snacks, a flashlight, bug repellent, binoculars, snacks, a chair, comfy walking shoes,
What to expect: A breathtaking show of light that only nature can provide. You probably won’t be able to capture anything on film so just sit back and enjoy! It is almost like they are blinking to the tune of Clair de Lune.
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Hope to see you around real soon…