Lighting and Lightning Bugs

search June in Vermont. Summer is finally here. The green is positively throbbing with life, and the birds are ready to go before sunrise.

Very recently, I saw some photos from a family member of lightning bugs/fireflies. I am rarely in Vermont, or anywhere else where they are, in time to see them. When I am, it is such a treat. Always takes me back to my childhood to see the little lanterns appear and disappear in the warmth of a June evening.

Yes, I did occasionally trap them in jars and watch their abdomens close up. But even then, or maybe especially then, it was hard to see them confined when they are so lovely gracing the summer air. If you are planning a trip, lightning bugs are one of the plusses of an early season rental.

search-1  And along with them, the lightning. I had a scare last week when a guest reported that the water wasn’t running properly, or sometimes at all. Since I’m on a well rather than city water like back in CA, that news carries with it some serious dread about the state of the well. But the good news was that all was, “well.” (Sorry about that.) The pump controls had been hit by lightning, apparently. That’s all. My guest at the time confirmed a loud thunderstorm the night before, so the circumstances seemed to match. All good. And well.

If you live in a part of the country where thunderstorms are common, they probably aren’t the thrill that they can be to folks from farther away. Say, California, for instance. Out here, when we do hear thunder, it is most often in December, when a wild Pacific winter storm gets even wilder. But the weather then is cold, blustery, and the thunder doesn’t presage a break in the heat as it often does in Vermont.

So, maybe like you, I’m always delighted when I hear the first low rumbles out in the distance to the west. I love battening down the hatches in advance, maybe leaving a west window open over the sink to let the wind come in. But then I go out on the deck to hear the rain coming toward me through the leaves. Sometimes it sounds like a car approaching. Then it gets louder, and the first drops hit my face, and I’m sure. And, as with the lightning bugs, I’m a kid again. My lungs are on fire, and I’m light on my feet. Watching for the lightning, counting the seconds, seven to a mile, until the rumble and the roar. When the seconds become few, I don’t bother much counting. I just enjoy the thrill.

So what if I had to pay the plumber (or the piper, as they say). I’m sure my guest had a grand time. And the water is great, thank you.

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