Firefly Lore

Matthew Montchalin mmontcha at
Thu Jan 20 07:17:45 UTC 2000

On Wed, 19 Jan 2000 XocoyoCopitzin at wrote:
|In a message dated 1/19/00 8:36:18 PM, PABLO_CRUZ at writes:
|<< Nevertheless, I lived for a while in Metepec, small village north of
|Atlixco, it seemed the most mystical place I've ever been.  They seemed
|to have a huge fascination with little lights around the volcano
|Popocatepetl.  Most said they were UFOs, others said they were other
|various manifestations.
|My point is, could this superstition, what seemed to me to be extreme
|fascination with these lights, whatever they were, be related? >>

I have had the good fortune of hiking around Mt. St. Helens in 1982 and
1983 (technically within the 5 mile "red" zone, where I could have been
ticketed) at midnight, and through 3 am.  Yes, when the hot air of the
volcano rises up into the cold air, lights appear.  They are usually
ill-defined sheets and balls of flashing light, very similar to
lightening, sometimes reminiscent of fluorescent lighting behind a shroud
of clouds or fog, and usually but not always without the accompaniment of
crisk crackling thunder.  :)  Quite a sight to see.  My theory is that
the difference in temperatures results in wholesale electrical
disturbances, maybe not so well-defined as to be "lightning" but
definitely luminescent in origin.  I was only about 2,000 feet from the
wonderful night-phenomena!  A great sight to see, and which I have not
seen since.

It was not until I traveled to the Midwest that I finally got to see my
first fireflies, just about the only thing I miss from my brief stay in
Michigan.  (Sigh!)

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