I’m running horribly behind tonight, but just managed to create this quick doodlewash. Our #NatureDoodlewash hike has brought us to this firefly which has been singled out from its many companions who are currently lighting up outside my window. Though I really hate the heat that summer brings, I love the magical light show that appears each evening as hundreds of fireflies flash their way through the night. Little bits of light appearing in a way that causes the silhouettes of grass and trees to sparkle like some kind of fairytale movie.

As kids, we called them lightning bugs and were fascinated that they could glow. It was like they had special powers or were battery-powered without the need for batteries. It’s actually a chemical reaction that causes their butts to glow, but that wasn’t as fun to think about. Philippe had never seen so many fireflies at once until he moved here from Paris. It was fun to watch his excitement at seeing them. All those memories of childhood came flooding back to me. Running after them and hoping to cup them in my hand to see the glow, before they flew away. I realize now this probably just terrified them or pissed them off, but if was really fun back then.

You know, I think I’ll stop babbling now and simply stop and watch them, resisting the urge to actually catch one. If you have them outside your window, feel free to join me. They’re a wonderful reminder of just how beautiful nature can be on a warm summer night.

Join me throughout the month of June on a virtual nature hike! Show everyone what you love most in nature with a watercolor sketch or painting and tag your images #NatureDoodlewash so we can all enjoy it with you! I’ll create a featured artist gallery of our global hike at the end of the month! 

World Watercolor Month is coming in July! Click here to learn more!

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Quinacridone Gold, Azo Orange, and Neutral Tint. Sennelier: Opera Rose. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

50 replies on “Catching Fireflies

  1. Charlie, I am with you about the summer heat, and the high humidities sometime suck the joy from my soul – thank goodness for air conditioning! However, it sounds like my childhood was much like yours as far as the magical lightening bugs. They fall into the same category as lady bugs in that they were one of the few insects I didn’t run away screaming from🙂 We would play a spooky game of Ghost in the Graveyard and end the evening catching lightning bugs. When my kids were small, we would visit our friend who live out in the country. They had so many lightning bugs that their bushes appeared to be lit for Christmas! At this very moment I am sitting in our screened-in porch, sans mosquitos, and watching the lovely lightning bugs twinkle throughout the back yard. Oh, and I have a table fan blowing on me because the humidity is so high. I would have made a terrible pioneer😉. Love your doodlewash and as always it is a spectacular specimen with an even more amazing shadow. Happy Wednesday!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG, I LOVED fireflies when I was a kid and filled many a glass jar with them, watching them light up the evening with their magic. I was a bit too young to realize that stuffing them into jars meant I was snuffing out their lives. They are one of the very few bugs that don’t terrify me.
    Your art is amazing. I cannot believe how much detail you get, how accurate your proportions are, and how much life is in every single picture. This guy is ready to fly off your sketchbook page.
    Do you teach art, Charlie? You should.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, they’re not terrifying like most bugs…I totally agree!! And I did the same…didn’t realize that probably wasn’t good for them, but they were soooo pretty!! And Awww thanks, Sharon! 😃💕What a wonderful compliment! I used to teach multimedia at the Kansas City Art Institute, but just started traditional art last year. 😊I also taught tap and jazz dancing years before that! Lol But no, haven’t taught fine art. I still have so much to learn. I enjoy sharing instructors I admire here though.

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  3. Oh that is one thing in my life that is missing! I had my first experience (boy that sounds loaded!) when I was 17 travelling to see relatives in Kentucky, I had no idea how beautiful a night can be with fireflies. Talk about magical! Since then, it has been a long 12 years since I have even seen one, they are truly amazing little critters….now I envy you!🙂 a stupid question, but are there fireflies in Europe? You mentioned Philippe not having seen so many at once…..I must know! great Doodle by the way!

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  4. This is wonderful! Great choice; I don’t believe I’ve ever seen any fireflies first hand, which leaves me inordinately jealous of all who have. Magical stuff.

    And I’m with you completely on summer heat – I don’t feel the cold, but I sure as heck feel the warm! Anything in the region of 25C and I’ll be getting quite irritable/melting. With the non-event summers here, I probably get off lightly!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 25C?!! Sign me up!! It’s 32C now and it’s late…says it “feels like” 36C…ugh. Luckily we’re inside with cool air, but outside it’s wet and humid. Yuck! But back to fireflies…this could sadder than not seeing Star Wars. You need to take a trip to see them!! New thing to add to the list! 😉

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      1. Oh my!!! I would melt faster than the bomb pop! It’s 17C here, at after four in the (very muggy and wet) morning. I’m struggling with that to be honest. The prices one pays for being such hot stuff…!

        Haha, Star Wars – I thought you’d forgotten that! I’ll probably try and find the fireflies first.😉

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I had no idea of what these little fireflies looked like, now I know, they are like little magical fairy’s. Great detailed work. I really want to see one of these. We get glow worms here, and I am told these are flying bugs and not worms at all…..never seen either, maybe they are the same thing? I will have to look them up.

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  6. I don’t think I’ve seen any this year yet either but I’ve not really been looking for them. Thanks for the memories Charlie. We always loved them growing up. We’d bring them inside to be our night lights. 💜 just one more thing we have in common, I hate the heat, summer is just bah to me. Love the long nights tho, lots of light for art! So there is something good about it.

    Liked by 1 person

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