Pennsylvania firefly festival
Black Caddis Ranch is home to the annual PA Firefly Festival on the 4th Saturday in June. Firefly hunters young and old come from all over the world to witness one of nature's most spectacular mating displays. The Tionesta Creek has been identified as one of the few places in the world that has the rare "Synchronous" fireflies. So whether you are a researcher, citizen scientist, or seeking a check on your "bucket list", you will find diverse and accessible fireflies among other butterflies, moths, dragonflies and caddisflies here.
Private Firefly Expeditions
While accommodations are not available to the public on the weekend of the festival, Black Caddis Ranch is open and reservable many other nights and weekends during the firefly season. The Synchronous season typically starts around the 2nd week of June and lasts approximately 30 days, depending on weather and nighttime temperatures. Black Caddis Ranch holds a Guiding Permit from the US Forest Service to operate firefly expeditions
Filmmakers & Photographers
Since 2013, Black Caddis Ranch has been the setting and backdrop to some of the world's most influential nature and documentary filmmakers. Radim Schrieber started photographing and shooting video of the Synchronous fireflies. His footage led the BBC and Ammonite Films to us in 2015 with their famous narrator/host Sir David Attenborough. Producer/Director, Joe Loncraine and Videographer, Martin Dorhn filmed Attenborough for the first time using a high-tech 4G camera in the darkness of the forest for a segment of the award-winning Attenborough's Light On Earth. Then in the summer of 2017, the Passion Pictures company filmed a segment for their 2018 documentary Serengeti Rules, a film based on the book of the same name by Sean Carroll. The film made its debut at the renowned 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. and has since won numerous industry awards.
In June 2018, we hosted our first PA Firefly Festival Photographers and Media night. Seven professional photographers and documentarians spent over 5 hours in the firefly habitats around Kellettville and produced some beautiful and mesmerizing results . The event was also documented by David Forstate of Pittsburgh's WQED, for a Pittsburgh 360 Youtube episode.
New this year, we had some legit press coverage about the fireflies. First Ted Anthony, associated press contributor, and photographer Gene Puskar posted a Travel Lab story complete with video and audio podcast. Then Buffalo, NY outdoorsman and writer David Barus who writes under the byline, Forrest Fisher, stayed with us and submitted this moving narrative, Light Wizards of the Midnight Woods to Share The Outdoors.
Photographers, filmmakers and writers coming to this part of the country will find the area easily accessible by car (within 3-hours) from one of three major cities of Pittsburgh, PA, Cleveland, Ohio or Buffalo, New York. Once here, natural and historic settings are abundant and conveniently located. Almost everything you need can be reached by paved/gravel public roads. Local residents are friendly and helpful. Permits and fees are minimal.