Friday, July 6, 2012

July 6: Fireflies

Because of the fog, Fourth of July fireworks were postponed until last night here in Camden. It being my niece's birthday, we spent the evening with my family at the lake instead.

While cruising around the lake in my brother-in-law's boat--outpacing some dragonflies and otherwise making the most of sunset's golden glow at the end of a long, hot day--we came upon a boat full of guys setting off their own fireworks. Nothing fancy, just colored lights fired into the air with a satisfying "bang," but enough to entertain my nieces, ages three and six. Now that purchase of fireworks is legal in Maine, I have a feeling we'll be seeing more these modest "neighborhood" displays on various holidays. Setting off fireworks over a lake seemed the perfect way to enjoy them, and it certainly lit up our twilight boat ride, adding that extra burst of fun to make a little girl's sixth birthday even more special.

As we were heading for home down the long dirt road from the camp, the woods showcased the best fireworks show of the summer: fireflies! A dark grove of spruce trees was particularly illuminated by dozens of blinking, flashing creatures, inspiring one to make wishes as if on falling stars come to earth. As kids my best friend and I used to catch a jar full and bring them into the tent with us whenever we were "camping out" in the back yard. I remember how mystified I was each morning when the magical living lights of the night before turned out to be rather plain-looking black insects.

Driving back into Camden, we passed the fireworks traffic heading out of town. We had missed the big fireworks show over the harbor. But we were graced with some spectacular glimpses of the rising moon, a lopsided orange balloon slowly rising above the hayfields, that made me shout out loud in the car.

Fireflies, orange moon
rising over the harbor--
summer's brief pleasures.

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