Drought, demolition dims synchronous fireflies in Smokies
Experts on the lightning bug species that flashes and pauses in unison, the Photinus carolinus, estimate the peak display at Elkmont only reached 30 to 50 percent of its potential this year.
You hardly had any fireflies there.
Faust has been watching the light show at Elkmont for most of her life.
Some of the lightning bugs in Elkmont and other areas of East Tennessee could still be growing in the ground and possibly emerge next summer, according to Faust.
Those lightning bugs up north may take two years or even three years to develop.
"Some people see these beautiful composite photos where every inch of the sky and the forest is glowing at exactly the same time, and that’s what they expect when they come out here to see the light show.
"There are quite a few fireflies in the burned areas, so that makes me happy.
You Can Help Lightning Bugs With the extreme drought of 2016 denting populations throughout East Tennessee, Faust said there are many things the average person can do at home to help the lightning bugs bounce back next year.