Silent Lights - a tribute to fireflies

Firefly author and researcher Sara Lewis is coming from Massachusetts to Ohio this June to present family lectures, firefly viewings and an in-depth weekend workshop sponsored by the non-profit Arc of Appalachia.

Lewis’ first stop will be in Cincinnati, OH for an indoor presentation and outdoor firefly viewing at the Cincinnati Friends Meeting House & Grounds on Thursday, June 15 at 8:00 pm. Lewis’ talk dives into the mysterious world of fireflies and reveals the most up-to-date discoveries about these charismatic insects.

Lewis will present the same indoor presentation at the Historic Paxton Theatre in Bainbridge, OH on Friday, June 16 from 4:30 – 5:30 pm, followed by an optional catered dinner and firefly evening viewing at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary. During this event, participants will enjoy the dusk calls of the rare Henslow’s sparrows and acoustic music created by invited musicians who will provide a stirring soundtrack for the silent spectacle created by thousands of fireflies arising from the meadows.

A three-day weekend workshop will be hosted at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary from Friday to Saturday morning which will kick off with the Friday presentation at the Paxton and the evening activities at the Sanctuary. Saturday’s agenda includes an exploratory field trip in Adams County with southern Ohio naturalist, John Howard in search of the rare, unusual, and extraordinary insects inhabiting Adams County’s rare prairie ecosystems. Participants will join the festivities at Serpent Mound as the sun sets, enjoying a catered Solstice Feast, followed by a field trip to the wilds of Adams County to witness the spectacular display of synchronous fireflies and Chinese Lanterns, a firefly species with an exceptionally long-lasting burst of light.

More information about each event, including fees and how to register, is online at or by calling 937-365-1935. Fees apply.

Sara Lewis is a Professor of Biology at Tufts University who tries hard to stay susceptible to wonder. Over the past thirty years, her scientific research into the luminous lives of fireflies has revealed many intimate secrets of firefly sex and death. Author of 80+ scientific papers, Lewis has also given a TED talk and written about firefly conservation and evolution for Natural History, CNN, and The Guardian. Her book Silent Sparks: The Wondrous World of Fireflies (Princeton 2016) is a richly illustrated and passionate look at these beloved creatures, and a call to reconnect with the magic of the natural world.

The Arc of Appalachia protects the rich diversity of life within North America’s Great Eastern Forest. Learn more about their work Saving Ohio's Wildlands at Arc of Appalachia.