Jun 27: Third Annual PA Firefly Festival

The 2015 firefly season has officially begun.  Hundreds of fireflies of many different varieties were seen in the Black Caddis Ranch field this weekend, with some synchronous activity on the fringes of the field and trees.  Join other firefly observers for a fun day and evening of music, arts, food, educational activities, woodswalking -- and fireflies, of course!

The Photinus carolinus, the Synchronous Firefly, was discovered and confirmed to be in the Allegheny National Forest in the summer of 2012.  A team of world-class Firefly scientists from Tennessee and Georgia came to Black Caddis Ranch for 10 days, and traveled throughout the ANF collecting specimens and studying the diversity of fireflies.

The P. carolinus is unique in that its flash patterns are in synchrony with each other, so they appear to be a string of Christmas lights hanging in the forest. Other witnesses have likened it to camera flash bulbs at a sporting event. The only other confirmed habitat in North America is in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.
Over 15 different species were identified along with the Synchronous. One other local species was a Photuris species dubbed the "Chinese Lanterns" by the scientists. These were observed floating across the Tionesta creek casting there glow onto the water. Which ever species you witness during the approximately 2-week season, you can be sure to have a moment of awe and wonder at this display of nature.

We encourage you to go out at night in your own backyards or neighborhoods to observe the firefly activity for the next week to 2 weeks.  You should try to eliminate all lights possible, wear long sleeves and pants,  if you need to wear bug spray, don't handle the lightning bugs, and bring your patience.  You may need to sit and wait until 11:00 pm to see all the different species.

If you are coming for the day of music and festival activities, please bring a lawn chair, wear sunscreen and plan on eating here!  We have 3 different food trucks coming offering an international menu of gyros, burgers, hot dogs, tacos and Cuban sandwiches.  You should also bring your wallets so you can shop at the arts/crafts vendors, and of course we will have PAFF merchandise on sale.  All the PAFF proceeds go to support the musicians, presenters and sanitation services.  Remember this is a family-friendly, alcohol and drug free event.

We have activities for kids and families all day. Seven different forest naturalists will be here and our resident entomologist, Dr Denise Piechnik is going to return, they have exhibits and activities for children of all ages to learn more about the fireflies and the habitats. 

Noon to midnight on the grounds of the Black Caddis Ranch B & B in Kellettville, just 15 miles east of Tionesta on Route 666. The address is 13558 Route 666, Tionesta, Pa 16353.  Arts & crafts exhibits are open from noon to 5 p.m.;  the fireflies tend to show up around 10 p.m.  The event is free (donations and volunteering welcome!), with tent camping available for $10 (please call 814-463-7606 to reserve a spot).  Lots more information at http://pafireflyfestival.blogspot.com

1 comment:

curtis03 Lewis said...

Third Annual PA Firefly Festival!! Oh I missed this event. Can you please share some photographs from this fest? Last year I attended this event with my family at the local event halls in Los Angeles. This was really unique event so we had decided to attend this year’s fest too.