Where is the PAFF?

The Annual PA Firefly Festival takes place on the grounds of the Black Caddis Ranch B & B in Kellettville, just 15 miles east of Tionesta on Route 666. The address is 13558 Route 666, Tionesta, Pa 16353. PARKING $5 donation, proceeds benefit PAFF and AmVets post 113.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Prediction of Fireflies

Lots of people are calling now to see if I can tell them whether or not there will be fireflies during the festival.  Of course I can't guarantee that we will have fireflies, but can only rely on our past experience (which is limited to the last 2 years), and hope that the weather and nature cooperate.  Here are some prognostic indicators on which we are relying to help us determine the peak nights.  We can only pray that it will coincide with the festival on June 28.  The first scientific/technical indicator is the modified Growing Degree Days reported by the Climate Prediction Center and National Weather Service.  The mGDDs are reported weekly starting March 1.  The closest station to Kellettville/ANF is the Bradford station. The scientists with Lynn Faust in 2012 reported that the mGDD which correlated to the synchronous fireflies was 719 mGDD-1200 mGDD with the peak nights between 815-1100 mGDD. As of May 24, we are at 333 mGDD.  I will continue to update this information weekly until the festival.

We are also looking for some of the "soft" signs of the local flora and fauna.  Lynn noted in her 2012 report the following observances: blooming of purple flowering raspberry, crown vetch, milkweed and daylillies; the ripening of wild red raspberry and domestic blueberries, and the mating of Japanese beetles.  We are noting a little bit of a late "spring" in this area with regards to blooming and vegetation, but overall a gradual spring.  You may want to start watching for these signs in your areas.

While we are hopeful that all the "planets will align" and provide the optimal conditions for a peak of the synchronous firefly activity on June 28, we will be here to celebrate regardless, and hope you will join us.

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