Demise of the Mayflies
In the wee hours of this morning, I decided to run out and grab some breakfast for myself and my husband. I love being outside in the early morning in the summer. The temperature is perfect, the sun is soft and pretty and everything is quiet and lazy. I wasn’t expecting to step into a horror scene just outside my front door here in Minnesota.
Scattered across the pavement as far as I could see were millions of mayfly corpses. Mayflies are sometimes referred to as “one-day” flies because of their extremely short life span, and when they hit maturity they just fall out of the air and die. If you come across a grouping that all matured at the same time, you’ll end up with a disgusting display like the one I saw this morning.
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Apparently, this is a Minnesota-wide issue. This year, the mayfly hatch was unprecedented, and has even been responsible for a number of accidents. According to the New York Daily News:
One of the biggest hatches of mayflies in a decade has wreaked havoc in Minnesota, leaving a car crash in its wake.
A four-inch-thick layer of dead mayflies covered the Highway 61 Hastings Bridge over the Mississippi River Sunday night, causing a driver to lose control of his vehicle and hit another car head-on, according to ABC news.
“I noticed little things were pelting my windshield, and I looked up and thought, was it raining? Nope, mayflies,” Kevin Clemen, who was driving over the bridge when an oncoming car hit his family’s vehicle, told KSTP-TV.
Clemen quickly got out of the car to see if his family was alright, but there were so many bugs, he couldn’t even walk. (read more…)