I seem to remember more lightning bugs being around as a kid. Then again, I'm not outside in the evenings as much as I was as a kid. We had a great yard growing up. We had a grassy hilly yard that was fun for bikes, sleds, and cardboard - depending on the season. Our yard was also great for chasing lightning bugs. If a kid was chasing a lightning bug on the level ground and the bug decided to escape by gaining altitude, it was often caught because the kid could gain altitude too by chasing the bugs up a hill.
There were plenty that got away, but our evening sky was full of them. Mother always had enough canning jars or empty mayonnaise jars around to accommodate lightning bug catching nights. Just poke some holes in the lid and we all went hunting. They were beautiful nights on the mountain. Usually we'd all lay down at the top of the hill and take it all in. There were the countless moving lights of the lightning bugs, and the countless stars hanging in deep space above them. The crickets from the surrounding woods gave an eerie sound-scape for the evening. It was if all that twinkling and moving light were making that noise. It all blended so nicely together. I miss our little hill. I miss having those moments.
Last year I watched Kelsey chasing after lightning bugs beneath the outdoor screen. We were at the Sand Mountain Drive-In. The show was about to start. She was running this way and that trying to catch up with one. You have to catch them quick before they get fed up and fly up. Next time we go to the drive-in, I'll make sure I pack a jar for my girls - poke some holes in the lid. We'll chase after lightning bugs, perchance to capture a special moment together.