Journey of the Fireflies

As the last light of the sun disappeared from the sky replaced by a crescent moon, the wooden row boats were prepared by a Muslim woman who would be taking me out to witness one of the greatest – and rarest – spectacles on earth. Just after dark, along the banks of the Selangor River in Central Malaysia, at a remote edge of dense jungles, I prepared for a pitch black journey up a slow moving river in the hopes to witness the kelip-kelip or fireflies. One of only two colonies of fireflies in the world, these threatened creatures put on a display of flashing lights that are only comparable to an overly decorated Christmas tree. Unlike anything I have ever seen, they are worthy of designation as one of the wonders of the world. Entire trees are illuminated by these little beetles and only for a couple hours just after dark and only on this stretch of remote river. Surrounded by howling monkeys and a 300-million year old rainforest with the only light to guide us being that of a crescent moon…the experience was nothing short of surreal. Below are just a few photos I am able to load up at this late hour.

Dock

Guide

boat

Firefly

2 responses to “Journey of the Fireflies

  1. I am so so proud of you! There is only one thing that could be better than these magical photographs, your essay, and the thought that you had the rare chance to be there to experience this all – me being there with you. Your images touch my heart and continue to inspire me on every level.

  2. Hi Ian

    Great photo especially the last one.

    To dispel the myth of the only two two colonies in the world which you will see in most websites, there are many along the intertidal rivers of Malaysia and South East Asia.

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