The fun of fireflies in a summer sky never gets old

By Patsy Dill Rankin
From the August 2015 issue

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I saw a light show last night, right in my backyard. It was one of the best I had seen in a long time and it reminded me of when I was a little girl. When I was growing up in Washington, D.C., we would spend the day at the pool, and then we’d come home and have a cookout and eat dinner on the patio. It was then that the show would begin.

As it got dark, the fireflies started coming out of the grass and would rise into the warm summer night air. My sisters and I would run barefoot through the yard and catch them in our hands. When our hands were full, and we couldn’t hold any more, we would run into the house and get the old empty olive, pickle or mayonnaise jars under the kitchen sink that my mom would save. One of us would then get the hammer and ice pick from the tool drawer and we would punch holes in all the lids of the jars. Back out into the yard we would run and we would put some grass and twigs in the jars and continue to dance around in the night air collecting what we called “lightning bugs.” As the jars filled, each began to glow like magic.

Marcos Salaverria inhabits Lewes past with an enthusiasm he hopes is infectious

Interview by Ashley Dawson  |  Photograph by Carolyn Watson
From the July 2015 issue

marcos-lgSpend a little time with Marcos Salaverria, and you’ll see how captivating the past can be, especially if the talkative director of education for the Lewes Historical Society is in costume.

He learned when he was 8 years old and met “George Washington” that a personal interaction with history creates a lasting impression, and that’s his goal when engaging LHS visitors young and old. But Salaverria is particularly focused on creating interactive programs for students.

Since joining the historical society last August, he’s worked steadily on increasing visits to its complex, with a goal of doubling past attendance. And as of early summer he was on track to succeed: At that time, Salaverria had hosted 500 students at special events and expected to draw an additional 500 through fall, exceeding the 600 who attended in 2014. In addition, he’s willing to take Lewes history on the road by visiting schools.

Underwater surveys, and the subsequent building and operation of offshore energy facilities, would create an earful for marine mammals. But some wonder: Is the cacophony safe — and is it worth the potential cost to habitats?

By Laura Dattaro
From the July 2015 issue

marinemammallgThe waters off the East Coast today, much like the land itself two centuries ago, are poised for industrialization. In January, the U.S. Department of the Interior proposed opening up areas from Virginia to Georgia for new oil and gas production, a move that could affect ecosystems and economies up and down the Eastern Seaboard. At the same time, the Obama administration is pushing for offshore wind farms from Maine to Georgia, with areas off Delaware, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Virginia already leased to wind companies.

With all of that development comes many environmental risks, including one that’s easy for humans to miss: sound. As on land, construction underwater is a noisy process, and that noise can present problems for the marine mammals, fish, and turtles that use sound to navigate through their watery world.