Monday, July 11, 2011

Mayfly attack!

Well, it wasn't an attack, but that headline is sensational, and readers like a good sensation. That's what Jason and Sebastian got, along with mate Chris and I, when we were cleaning litter off the west bank above the Morgantown Dam Sunday.

We were poking around the shore where the litter had drifted up from behind the dam, and we disturbed their resting area on the leaves of trees along the shore. (click the photo for a closer look).

To see the mayflies in the closeup below, click it.

These bugs don't bother people, except for leaving their carcasses all over the place when they die. The lifespan of an adult mayfly can vary from just 30 minutes to one day depending on the species, says the Wikipedia article on these insects. They are very important in feeding fish.

I think our crew will remember this experience. The young men did a great job with us on The Monongahela Monitor, our pontoon boat. They worked hard.

Litter above the dam, along the east shore in particular, is as bad as I've ever seen it.

If I had three boats with three crews, I could get that cleaned up in a week. As it was, we were only able to pull in seven big bags of litter before it was too hot to be working, and we headed back down through the lock (the crew insisted on pulling out litter as we locked), then to Walnut Street to drop off our "catch" and then to the marina.

At left, Sebastian and Jason in the lock.

Jason and Sebastian are freshmen at Morgantown High School and were fulfilling some public service requirements for school.

I don't know who it was that came up with the idea of requiring public service of students, but I'd like to shake his or her hand. Our crew had an impact on the community (we did a real good job along the shore at the Ruby McQuain park) and they learned a lot, too. An of course, they got to steer the boat.

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