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In addition to the beauty of the Smoky Mountains, once you arrive at Elmont Campground, there's a light show. How marvelous is that!
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The synchronous firefly show takes place this time every year. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the few places nearby to experience this symphony.
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Celebrate the National Park Service 100th birthday and Find Your Park. Come to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, America's most visited park.
If you had asked me about this wonder a few years ago, I would have stared back into your eyes with an absolute void. Yes, I know what fireflies are, but if you live in Georgia or anywhere in the southern US for that matter, they are lightning bugs. I have spent many marvelous and wondrous hours flitting around my front yard (long before the age of 12) with Mason jar in one hand, and the hole-poked-tin-top in the other waiting for the unsuspecting lightning bugs to zoom by. I'd smash the top and jar together (oh so gently) and the lightning bugs would be my prisoners, illuminating the jar. I would have light for the evening. I'd run and jump and with the help of the lightning bugs, make the setting sun of a summer evening last a little longer. Then, before I went inside, I'd release my new friends. "See you tomorrow night," I'd promise.
My heart danced at the blinking lights of two, maybe three, lightning bugs, forever cementing my love of twinkle lights. It was magical and other-worldly. To a child, that meant possibilities and adventures. Could all this be multiplied?
For two weeks each year and in only one spot in the United States, fireflies synchronize their twinkle power. In the Great Smoky Mountains near the Elkmont Campground, thousands gather to experience a light show for the ages. It requires patience, a little walking and a sense of wonder.
Now is the time to experience synchronous fireflies, only in our Blue Ridge Mountains!
Judy and Len Garrison are at home in Farmington, Georgia, just on the outskirts of Dawg country - better known as Athens. Len, an IT manager and photographer, and Judy, an editor, author and travel writer, invite you to travel along with them as they explore the best of the South. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit their website at Seeing Southern, and follow them on Twitter at @judyhgarrison, @seeing_southern, LIKE them on Facebook and on Instagram.