Many species of the beetle family Lampyridae, commonly known as fireflies, communicate with bioluminescent courtship displays. These flashing codes appear for a brief moment on warm nights in late spring and summer, at the very end of the insect’s life cycle. Samuel James watched their displays in Appalachian Ohio over four successive summers between 2019 and 2022. The flashes can vary in colour, pattern, and duration, and by habitat, hour of night, and time of season. Recorded with an exposure ranging from several seconds to an hour, a kind of score emerges from the glowing lights and dark pauses. ‘Nightairs’ presents a selection of these hauntingly beautiful images.