Synchronous Fireflies and Summer Plans



I spent my birthday at the Elkmont campground in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP). It's nestled into a beautiful and scenic part of the Appalachian mountains. I was invited along by a new friend from the lab to join them during a firefly viewing. I was very happy to find out that this particular part of the park has a special type of firefly that glows in synchrony with their fellow species. This event happens for only one week or so per year in this particular part of the GSMNP. There is another synchronous glowing firefly species in the Congaree NP in SC as well that many people know about. As I spent my first moments of being greater than 26 years old, I was watching the fireflies slowly match one another's glowing pattern in the dark woods. I was amazed. At first the lighting patterns were sporadic like a blanket of Christmas tree lights. Then, I began to see waves of lights flicker through the woods like the 'wave' in a stadium. We wandered in the sea of little lights and then got back to our campsite. I went deeply to sleep. The next day we hiked Jacob's Creek trail and I felt the cold water of a mountain side river. Some members of our hiking group dove in, but I was hesitant in my hiking gear. I will try next time! 

This internship is soaring by and I am chugging along with progress on my auxetic and electrostatic work. I have learned a lot from spending this time outside of my comfort zone. I always spent my undergraduate summers in or near Cambridge, MA. I have learned a lot from putting myself in an environment without all my little creature comforts. I had to pack my car with all the little priceless things I would need for the summer and I have gotten a Costco membership for the things I didn't bring with me.

I will be going to Boston for July 4th weekend and then Coyote will be coming with me to TN for a week plus a few days. I am looking forward to exploring some of the area with her. Later at the end of July, we'll spend time at her family's cabin in the Adirondacks. In August, I have plans to attend the SFF conference as well as a labor day weekend trip on the Cape. 

Life is good and things meld on by.






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Synchronous Fireflies and Summer Plans

I spent my birthday at the Elkmont campground in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP). It's nestled into a beautiful and scenic p...