Now, before you call a game warden or get yourself all worked up in a lather (without being in the shower), please read on. I’m not advocating any unlawful activity. Night hunting is illegal in Alabama, except I think for hunting coyotes. Hunting season is over anyway, but there are a few things that are in season all year. We were hunting those things.

About the time turkey season ends, mowing season begins. I’m not a turkey hunter, but I am a grass cutter (not by choice). I don’t especially enjoy cutting grass, but I don’t like to lose my truck in my yard either, so I cut grass. We say Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, but the first official day is this week. This year, I think the heat recognized the unofficial start and my grass shot up long before summer arrived. Most days have been too hot to mow grass in the middle of the day. I could cut mine early in the morning, but it is usually too wet. I try to mow late in the day, so I finish right before dark. Sometimes I push the limits and it is too dark to see where I have cut by the time I finish. I have finished close to the house by the light of my flood lights. My mower is a self-propelled push-mower. I bought the stripped down model with no head lights. I sold my riding mower when I moved twelve years ago. Since my lawn is much smaller than the last one, I decided pushing a mower would be good exercise. I have concluded that exercise by racquetball or swimming is much more fun.

Drew has gotten old enough to help. He usually operates the weed-eater while I mow. Sometimes, as dusk falls he becomes more interested in hunting than in mowing. He also wants me to hunt with him, rather than me mowing. Did I mention that hunting is more fun than mowing too? The other night we bagged about a dozen or so before the darkness overtook our ability to see. Oh, I didn’t tell you what we were hunting, did I? There is no limit on lightning bugs and they have no open and closed seasons, but they do only show up in summer. They show up quite well when they turn on their taillight. The problem is when they turn off their light they are hard to see. By the time they turn it back on they have already flown away and out of reach. This coupled with the fact that my vision is not great really hampers my hunting. Even with the outside flood lights on those little flying flashing lights are difficult to locate in the dark. I may not be the smartest person in the world, but I do own a smart phone. I, probably like you, use my phone for almost everything – even hunting lightning bugs in the dark with my grandson. With the click of an icon, my phone transforms into a bright flashlight. We’ve discovered we can see those little flying bugs with my phone-light, even after their light goes out. We don’t always end up finishing the grass but we do usually end up with a jar full of bugs. Yes, we do catch-and-release. We turn them all loose so we could catch them again the next time, instead of finishing the grass.

The Bible says that Christians have a light too. In fact, Jesus said we are the light of the world. Of course we can’t fly like lightning bugs, but we can and should, let our lights shine to give light to all. (Matthew 5:14-15)

— Bill King is a native of Rainsville, where he and his wife graduated from Plainview High School. King is a director of missions in Opelika, a writer, musician and author. His column appears in the Times-Journal Thursdays edition. Visit for more information.

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