The Mayfly has some unusual characteristics. For one, after living as a an immature "naiad" for up to a year in the water, once it matures into an adult, it lives only a day or two. (Its species, Ephemera, means short-lived.) It is also unique in that it is the only insect that molts after it has developed wings. It undergoes many molts during its life as a naiad in the lake, living under rocks or leaves at the bottom of the lake. Its final molt as a naiad is to a winged "subimago" which can fly, but is not sexually mature. This near-final stage then molts once more into the final adult form. This explains why I find Mayfly skins up on the windows facing the lake - they must fly up from the lake, and then perform their final metamorphosis. After that, they mate, lay their eggs on the surface of the lake, and die.
|Adults Mayfly after molting from its subimago form|
Out on the trails around the lake, I found many more Red Efts (Eastern Newts) enjoying the damp weather - they don't need to hide under ground when it's so humid, so they can be out exploring and looking for food.
|Eastern Newt (Red Eft Stage)|
At the other end of the animal spectrum, I came across some very fresh Black Bear scat right in the middle of a trail.
All the rain has reconstituted the vernal pools, turning them into "estival" pools. (I had to look that up: "estival" is the equivalent term for summer, and "hibernal" the term for winter!)
|Vernal Pools Re-filled with Recent Rain|
With all the water, the lush growth, and the high water content in the air, it's looking more like a tropical rainforest than northern New England!
Let's hope things dry out a bit in time for the holiday weekend. Have a fun and safe Fourth of July!