Firefly Season in the North Georgia Mountains – Beechwood Inn

Firefly Season in the North Georgia Mountains – Beechwood Inn

There is something about seeing your first firefly or lightning bug that ignites a feeling of summer and childhood joy in us all. Whether you’re experiencing their beauty for the first time or are a long-time fan, there’s no doubt you’re smitten and awed by these creatures. One of the greatest aspects of spending the summer in Georgia is witnessing the twinkling, bioluminescent fireflies or lightning bugs. Fireflies are a true symbol of warmer weather and they give us another reason to get out at night and enjoy the summer breeze amongst nature’s most fascinating creatures. Discover them here in North Georgia and you’re guaranteed to have a truly memorable adventure.

Night-flying lightning bugs are actually beetles. They use the brilliance of their flashing lights to find a mate and to ward off predators. Lightning bugs have organs in the rear of their bodies that contain two chemicals, luciferase and luciferin, which when combined, generate this glow.  Since these bugs use their own light to accurately communicate, lightning bugs will not be as plentiful in more light-exposed areas.

Seeing fireflies during summer in Georgia has come to be expected, especially for those living in the country or the mountains. Georgia has 50+ different species of fireflies, more than any other state in the country, and that is truly a strange and wonderful phenomenon.

A visit to Beechwood Inn offers one of the best locations in North Georgia to view fireflies. So, why is Beechwood Inn a good place to see fireflies?  First of all, fireflies like cool, moist air.  Our summer mountain air is the perfect habitat for these lovely living lights.  Also, fireflies seem to typically congregate around the edges of woods and around moisture and away from city lights.  Our lovely 8 acre hillside offers forested areas, lots of grassy damp pasture and cover that beckons to many species of these lovely sprites. And best of all our property offers comfortable decks, porches and our new Stone Fire Pit Patio from which to view, and we offer wine – which is an important amenity as you await dusk.

No fireflies in your own yard and you miss them from your childhood?  Try these tricks of the trade to lure fireflies to your backyard shining brighter than ever.

  1. TURN OFF THE LIGHTS: You can’t see a firefly if you have lights on. Bright lights can throw off their natural mating rituals, so it’s best to keep the lights off and allow the fireflies do their thing.
  1. FOREGO PESTICIDES and you’ll notice an increase of these wondrous insects in your own yard. Pesticides are part of the reason the firefly population is dwindling and it’s sad because they’ve always been what helps make memorable summer nights.
  1. LET YOUR GRASS GROW HIGH:High grassy areas are part of fireflies’ idyllic natural habitat.  According to The National Gardening Association, tall, long blades of grass invite female fireflies and give male fireflies yet another reason to visit.
  1. GROW FLOWERS:Certain species of fireflies feed off the pollen and nectar of different flowers. Plant your choice of flowers in your yard and see which variety of fireflies you attract!
  2. INCLUDE A WATER FEATURE: Fireflies love areas of moisture such as a small pond, water feature or fountain in a garden.  They often mate where marshy areas meet creeks or rivers. Recreate these conditions and you’ll have a much better chance to see an abundance of fireflies.

Fireflies are sensitive to pesticides. At Beechwood Inn we tend our gardens and pastures as carefully as possible to make a safe habitat for all creatures. Beechwood Inn is also a Certified National Wildlife Habitat.

by Megan Cagle, Beechwood Inn