Monday, June 20, 2011

Life on the Lake ~ Bugs*

*This post is for Gail. :)

Lest you think it's all fun and games up here at the summer cottage on Lake Erie...

Please allow me to introduce you to two of the extreme annoyances of being here this time of year.


Thankfully they don't sting or bite.  But they are everywhere.  And, when they decay in large numbers, they stink.  They are attracted to light, so if you want to read at night, it's best to do so under the covers with a book light!  (Seriously, if you've got a light on, they will find their way inside and hover on the ceiling above you.)

Last week I made the mistake of hanging my clothes out on the line to dry.  (Silly me!)  I laid down for nap and, when I woke up, looked out the back window and saw this....

These two items weren't the worst.  My denim capris were *absolutely* covered (think swarm of bees) with muffleheads!!!   It was the point at which I almost had my first meltdown of being here.  I was torn between crying and throwing up.  And was subsequently thrashing around the side yard beating my clothes against the picnic table to get rid of them.   All thoughts of nonviolence escaped me.

Later that day I made a trip into town for groceries.  I realize yet another 'note to self' mistake ~ in that I had left my car windows down a bit for temperature's sake.  The muffleheads had gotten into my car and died en masse in the back window.  (Luckily, I remembered a car wash with a high-powered vacuum was on my way into town!)

You can read more about muffleheads here.

And be sure to check out this amazing photo of them swarming overhead.  We saw similar groups on our trip through the nearby Marblehead Quarry the night I arrived.

Mayflies (aka Canadian Soldiers)

They arrived in Lakeside last week.  One lady who called to book a reservation literally changed her mind when she found out the Mayflies were here.  They can be *that* bad.

Also harmless, they hatch out of the Lake and cling to every available surface.  They are much larger than muffleheads and have wings attached to a worm-like body.  They too are attracted to light and will die in large numbers around street lamps, eventually causing a noxious odor.

Mayflies on outside of the building where I work.

They crunch when you walk on them.  And the ground/streets actually get slippery with their remains as people trod on and cars roll over their carcasses.

You can read more about Mayflies here.

* * *

Jealous yet?  :-D

As a professed Nature lover, I am trying my best to accept this unique ecosystem and honor its importance to the bigger picture that connects us all.

Still...I have my moments of just being totally grossed out!

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