SHAKOPEE, Minn. — Just off Highway 169, in a large field that separates the Kelch family from the highway, they come. Fireflies by the thousands, flicker and flitter.

"For some reason this is where the fireflies thrive," Katy Kelch told us in an e-mail. "It is one of the most magical things we have ever seen."

But Kelch says it only lasts a couple of weeks a year. "My husband and I try and share this with everyone we know because we have never seen anything like it."

Kelch told us she also submits firefly data to a firefly watch in Massachusetts. "It's a citizen science project, and as of the other day, I am the only one in Minnesota submitting the data."

Worldwide, there are over 2,000 firefly species, each with its own unique light pattern. Males tend to flash while in the air, but females only flash when landed.

The Kelchs just look forward to their next enlightening encounter. "These little creatures bring us so much joy."