In the So Many Fairies story “Fairy Fireflies”, a boy moves from a city apartment to live with his mother in a small house in the country. He has lived his whole life in the city, so he misses his friends, his school, and his home. He is also nervous about the backyard with its overgrown trees, brambly bushes, and cow pasture beyond.
This boy prefers to stay inside reading comics — until one night, a host of fireflies (or are they fairies?) take him on a magical adventure.
If snowflakes and ice crystals are the fairies of winter, flower blossoms and fireflies are their summer counterpart. Who can watch a field full of fireflies on a warm July night and not sense a little magic?
When I was a kid living in the country, my cousins and I would spend what felt like hours catching fireflies, happily occupied while our parents sipped iced tea on our grandmother's back porch.
While we don't have as many fireflies in our town now, my own kids are just catching on to the fact that, if you're patient and look carefully, most nights you can find a few in the shade under the tree in our front yard.
If you want to add “catching fireflies” to your summer bucket list, this sweet firefly habitat will get you equipped in style.
In recent years, fireflies have become less common due to habitat loss and climate changes. For this reason, if you bring decide to bring your little firefly friends inside, you'll need to remember to create a habitat with a few things to make your fireflies as comfortable as possible — like being in a firefly hotel.
Make sure you use a mesh top. The mesh top allows the fireflies to breathe. Add a dampened paper towel to keep your fireflies from drying out — they like humid spaces like dewy grass and marshes and ponds. Kept this way, your fireflies should fare pretty well inside for one night — but you'll want to let them go the next morning right away so that they can keep making their twinkling summer magic.
large mason jar (the one shown is quart-sized) and lid band
small scrap (just a little larger than the jar lid) of mesh screen
hot glue gun
about 3 feet of aluminum wire
about 20 large wooden beads
Begin by making the jar lid. To do so, use the marker to trace the shape of the lid band onto the mesh screen scrap. Cut out the circle you've just traced, trimming it up as necessary to fit, and use hot glue to glue it to the underside of the lid band. Set aside.
Next, you'll make the handle. To do so, cut about 12 inches of wire and use the pliers to make a loop at one end.
Let your kiddos string beads onto the wire, leaving just enough room to put another loop at the other end. Set aside.
Take the remaining 2 feet of wire and make a loop at the end (as shown), leaving a little tail.
When you're finished, you should have a circle of wire, with two loop “ears.”
Put the wire loop over the top of the jar, then pull on the loops to tighten it down.
Carefully open the loops at the ends of the handle and attach them to the loops on the wire that's on the jar.
Use pliers to close the loops, retrieve and screw on your lid, and you're ready to hunt fireflies!
If you liked this tutorial, here are others you might enjoy:
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred year old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two pre-schoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion--showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun--in her weekly Sparkle Kitchen posts.
When Meryl isn't writing for Sparkle Kitchen, you can find her on her personal blog, My Bit of Earth, where she writes about chickens, babies, knitting, gardening, food, photography, and whatever else tickles her fancy on any given day.