Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mayfly mayham

The mayflies have arrived!  

Even though their visits are short, the impact they leave is large...and messy...and smelly.

Rising up from the lakes and streams they ascend in their frenzy to mate and die.  They belong to the order "Ephemoeroptera" which  manes "living a day".    These are insects whose motto definitely is Carpe Diem....because that's all they have.  Some last a few days, some less than a day and none are equipped to feed as an adult.  the are born, breed with a passion and lay eggs which can hatch in minutes.  You'd think with a short life span like that we'd hardly know they were among us...but noooooooo.

They first appeared about 350 million years ago and are still with us endangered list for these guys.  Even though we call them Mayflies, they tend to show up in our area about July.  And they are everywhere!  The frogs love this all you can eat buffet and as annoying as we consider them, they are an important part of the cycle of life. 
I can remember times when the snowplows were called out to remove them from the Mississippi bridge because their dying bodies created dangerous slick driving conditions.  Since it's only once a year no signs saying "Bridge may be slick if covered with bugs" were created.

My most recent encounter with them was going to the movies and watching the staff trying to hose them off the side of the building.  The only way into the theater was to walk over their slimy dead bodies and hold your nose.  Gives a new meaning to "over my dead body!".  Now that really puts you in the mood for some buttery crunchy popcorn!

Long Live the Queen


  1. and it's not even May... go figure.

  2. Well, if I had the slightest teeniest thought that I might be wanting a snack, you sure did put a damper on that thought!!! I probably won't be eating popcorn for a long long time now. I haven't encountered these bugs. At least I don't think I have. And to be perfectly honest, I'm happy letting you keep them in Wisconsin. A frog full of bugs is a happy frog. Long live your frogs. lol. Hugs, Edna B.