Every year, for about a week in May, our lakeshore area is plagued with these pesky little bugs called Lakeflies. They look like a big mosquito, but (thankfully!) they do not bite. They just fly around in huge swarms, and then die off. It's really all very pointless, and annoying. When I was a kid, we had a TON of lakeflies. I mean, I can remember driving through the park with my mom, and they were so thick at times that we had to have the windshield wipers on! The houses on the lakeshore were totally covered with the bugs - white house especially. There were so many bugs on those houses, they actually appeared grey from the street. Then in the late 90's, something happened, and they were gone. We went through about five years with very few bugs at all. But then they came back, and now it seems to get worse every year (though still no where near as bad as when I was a kid).
Henry and I went to the zoo on Saturday, and the lakeflies were out, but they weren't too bad. They mostly stuck to the bridge and buildings, and weren't really swarming. I knew it would be worse yesterday (Sunday), but decided to risk it, and took my camera with me. The lakeflies were HORRIBLE! The entire time we were there, you could hear a hum in the air around you, because there were so many bugs buzzing around. And before you think I'm crazy for even going, you should know we weren't the only people there! Everyone had their hoods up and their noses and mouths covered (well, except us, because we're strong.... or stupid... lol!). The animals HATED the bugs. They were all hiding in their houses for the most part. Here are some pics of our annoying little friends in case anyone is interested. Here's a close up of a few on the fence. There were literally hundreds on the fence, this just a small 3" square space:
This is what the sky looked like:
I know what you're thinking... why did you go? And I don't know. I didn't think they'd be as bad as they were, so we drove over. When we pulled up, I knew it was going to be horrible, but Henry started to cry at the idea of being there, and not getting out. I tried to bribe him with all kinds of things... ice cream, McDonalds, etc. No luck. He wanted to go in. So, we went. But we went fast! The bugs didn't bother him in the least... typical boy!
Here is one of the zoo buildings, and more of the fence. All of the little black spots are lakeflies:
The cafe (appropriately named) was open... Blech. Who wants to eat with all these things flying around?! All of those black spots on the sign are lakeflies:
But guess what? It's not dirt. It's dead lakeflies. They live for about 24 hours, then die, and collect in the side of the road (and smell like fish - it's fabulous). When I was a kid, they piles of dead lakeflies were so thick you had to shovel them to clean up. Nasty. This is nothing compared to what it used to be like!
So, I don't think we'll be going back to the zoo for about a week. They only stick around for about 7 - 10 days, then we'll be in the clear again. :)
Aren't you glad I shared?!