It’s that time of year, when nature brings us an amazing light show from the synchronous fireflies in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The viewing of these rare synchronized fireflies (Photinus carolinus) is something that every nature lover needs to experience at least once. These wonderful insects leave spectators in awe when they come together and flash in a synchronous manner during their mating display. One little firefly will start to flash, and before you know it, the woods in front of you light up with thousands of them flashing. Then it all comes to a halt leaving the woods dark until another firefly flashes and starts the process all over.
Tickets to view the fireflies from Tuesday, June 2 through Tuesday, June 9 went live on Thursday, April 30 and sold out within minutes! These tickets reserve a spot for visitors to park at the Sugarlands Visitor Center where they can then purchase a pass to ride the shuttle to Elkmont to view the fireflies.
But don’t worry if you weren’t one of the lucky few to quickly snatch up your tickets. An additional 85 tickets will be on sale each day before at 10:00 A.M. thru 3:30 P.M. from June 2 through June 9. Although the fireflies only live 21 days as adults, their mating period lasts for approximately two weeks and can be seen at other locations throughout the National Park if you’re unable to get a pass altogether.
For more information about the synchronized fireflies, additional passes to view them and viewing etiquette, visit http://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/nature/fireflies.htm.