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.

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.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

May 31 Planning Meeting

With a little over 6 weeks to go before our 2nd Annual Festival, things are shaping up nicely. We have 7 confirmed music groups including: Front Porch Folk; The Hills and Rivers; Broke, Stranded & Ugly; Stoney and Friends; Joyful Noise and others.  We are thankful to report the St Anthony's Women's Guild will be selling strawberry shortcake during the early afternoon, and the Deck the Halls catering will be serving a beef sandwich in the later afternoon.  We have a new T-shirt design to vote on at the next meeting and will be ordering those the first week of June.  The Sponsor list is growing including: The Allegheny Valley Development, First United Bank of Fryburg, Dan and Jennifer Miller and Ken and Peggy Butler.  With these donations we hope to provide the sanitation facilities, glow sticks and T-shirts.

The latest stretch of warm weather has really helped to green-up the valley, but has concerned me that it may also bring about the emergence of fireflies.  I have noticed several of the dinural (daytime) varieties during the day this week, but have not seen any flashing yet.  I hope that this forecasted cool down for the next week will bring back more seasonal temperatures that will prevent any premature emergence of Fireflies.  We will keep you posted as soon as we start to notice activity.

I have been getting calls daily about accommodations.  We have 2 cabins still available and I am taking reservations for the tent and pop-up sites here on the grounds.  Other members of the PAFF and ADP are planning on camping in the Branch Creek area along the North Country Trail sites and the Kellettville Campgrounds.  

Our next planning meeting is scheduled for Saturday, May 31 at 4:00 PM, here at Black Caddis Ranch. Anyone interested in volunteering is welcome to attend.