Fireflies in the night forest in Cuc Phuong National Park

Young artist Nguyen Huu Thong captures the light dance of fireflies in the night at Cuc Phuong National Park near Tam Coc Ninh Binh. Visitors do not need to go as far as China, Japan, Bulgaria, Mexico, New Zealand or the eastern United States to see fireflies, but can go to Cuc Phuong National Park. In the summer, when the sun gradually disappears behind the forest trees and night falls, the fireflies begin to dance. Mr. Nguyen Huu Thong (born in 1987), native of Tien Son, Viet Yen, Bac Giang is a photographer specializing in the rhythm of life in the Northern highlands and has won over 40 domestic and foreign awards, large and small. In addition to everyday photography, he also shoots portraits and landscapes. In many personal nature photos, he is impressed with the photo series of fireflies at night in Cuc Phuong.

Located 120 km south of Hanoi, Cuc Phuong National Park near Tam Coc Ninh Binh was established in 1962, in the territory of three provinces, with a total area of 22,408 hectares deep in the heart of the Tam Diep mountain range. With many values of natural landscape and biodiversity, Cuc Phuong has long become an ideal eco-tourism destination for tourists. In the summer from April to August, the weather is beautiful, sunny, with little rain and storms, which is suitable for observing insects. The forest corner of Bong hamlet, 20 km from the garden gate, is a spot to watch and take pictures of fireflies. The shimmering light of the fireflies beside the ancient crocodile tree. Mr. Thong is very enthusiastic about making this series with the support of photographers from Japan and Bulgaria.

“In 2020, I went with my brothers to survey the shooting location. In 2021, I went to take pictures 3 times, but the first batch was not satisfactory, the 2nd batch met with rain and couldn’t take photos, and the 3rd batch just completed the set of photos, “said Thong. Ghostly light in a corner of the forest. These “flying stars” when flickering bring to an enchanting space, like getting lost in a light festival or in a fairy forest. Fireflies are brown insects, soft bodies, wings are often stiffer than other beetles, have the ability to emit yellow-green light due to a special chemical reaction located under the abdomen. Their light-emitting purpose is to lure prey and, importantly, attract mates during the breeding season. To the habitat of this species, visitors must follow basic rules such as no music, no insect repellent, no lights and absolutely no use of mobile phones. Any artificial light will affect their “light show”. To capture this species in Cuc Phuong near Tam Coc Ninh Binh, it is necessary to equip a tripod, a camera with a wide-angle lens, adjust a large aperture and master exposure shooting techniques. Currently, due to the influence of pesticides, rapid urbanization has affected the living environment and behavior, causing the number of fireflies in Vietnam to decrease sharply.

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