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Marken
Fireman



Posted - 05/11/2005 :  7:41:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When my wife and I moved to the lake 17 years ago, nobody told us about the annual lake fly hatch. If you've never been through something like this it's a little hard to explain.

The lake fly larvae spends most of it's life in the "mud" on the lake bottom. They are small worms and provide food for fish, especially lake sturgeon. Once a year they "hatch" and invade the shorelines as flies. But before they come out of the water they lay eggs for the next generation. They only live a few days because they have no mouths and cannot feed. During the bad years, we actually have to shovel them up they get so thick. And they leave behind a green stain on everything.

About five years ago, the zebra mussel found it's way into the lake and multiplied rapidly. Three years ago the lake fly disappeared and the zebra's were to blame. Suddenly a major food source was gone and everyone panicked. Our purple martins have not come back in two years because the lake fly was their sole food source and they were gone.

When I took our pier and boat lift out last fall I noticed they were not covered with zebra mussels as they have been the past couple of years when I actually had to use a pressure washer to get them off because they were so thickly attached to the metal. And I also noticed the rocks along the shoreline were bare and not covered also. For some reason, the population crashed.

Well, the annual fly hatch occurs during mothers day, give or take a couple of days. This is what I came home to today...





As you can see, they are back in force. They don't bite or bother you unless you walk past where they are sitting (like everywhere) and then they swarm. And when they swarm they sound like a million wasps are about to eat you.

So, for the next couple of weeks, the wife will be spending her days in-doors. And I'll probably end up swallowing a few hundred of them while I do the outside chores for her. And then they'll be gone...only to return this summer with an even bigger hatch


In memory of Mike Chambers

Country: USA | Posts: 2911 Go to Top of Page

Dutchman
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 05/11/2005 :  7:59:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ken,
I've heard about the fly hatch up by you and in Canada, but have never seen them. Sounds like fun. Remember to keep you mouth closed as much as possible.


Bruce

Modeling the railroads of the Jersey Highlands in HO and the logging railroads of Pennsylvania in HOn3

Country: USA | Posts: 25236 Go to Top of Page

Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 05/11/2005 :  9:57:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Where are those darn zebra mussels when you need them???

Mike

Country: USA | Posts: 11034 Go to Top of Page

Bbags
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 05/11/2005 :  10:06:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yikes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think I would put on some Scuba gear before I did any work outside.



John Bagley
Modeling the Alaska Railroad in HO in Wildwood Georgia.

Country: USA | Posts: 13132 Go to Top of Page

anbhurst
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 05/12/2005 :  12:41:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ken,

I was just wondering if you use a special toothpick for your teeth. What you need are a few small hungry trout!

Allen
Modellin' the East in the West!

quote:
Originally posted by Marken

When my wife and I moved to the lake 17 years ago, nobody told us about the annual lake fly hatch. . .


Allen
Modeling the East in the West on the Northeastern Pacific RIM, Oregon, that is!

Country: USA | Posts: 7247 Go to Top of Page

rckwallaby
Crew Chief



Posted - 05/12/2005 :  03:22:37 AM  Show Profile  Visit rckwallaby's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ain't nature fascinating.

You've just experienced the cyclicity of interspecies competition.
Soon the birds will be back then the mussels will return and build up until the flies fall off again and so it'll go round and round.

Phil



Country: Australia | Posts: 661 Go to Top of Page

Dutchman
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 05/12/2005 :  07:11:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This bronze beauty was a visitor under our birdfeeder this morning.



Bruce

Modeling the railroads of the Jersey Highlands in HO and the logging railroads of Pennsylvania in HOn3

Country: USA | Posts: 25236 Go to Top of Page

k9wrangler
Fireman



Posted - 05/12/2005 :  08:51:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Marken

When my wife and I moved to the lake 17 years ago, nobody told us about the annual lake fly hatch. If you've never been through something like this it's a little hard to explain.

The lake fly larvae spends most of it's life in the "mud" on the lake bottom. They are small worms and provide food for fish, especially lake sturgeon. Once a year they "hatch" and invade the shorelines as flies. But before they come out of the water they lay eggs for the next generation. They only live a few days because they have no mouths and cannot feed. During the bad years, we actually have to shovel them up they get so thick. And they leave behind a green stain on everything.

About five years ago, the zebra mussel found it's way into the lake and multiplied rapidly. Three years ago the lake fly disappeared and the zebra's were to blame. Suddenly a major food source was gone and everyone panicked. Our purple martins have not come back in two years because the lake fly was their sole food source and they were gone.

When I took our pier and boat lift out last fall I noticed they were not covered with zebra mussels as they have been the past couple of years when I actually had to use a pressure washer to get them off because they were so thickly attached to the metal. And I also noticed the rocks along the shoreline were bare and not covered also. For some reason, the population crashed.

Well, the annual fly hatch occurs during mothers day, give or take a couple of days. This is what I came home to today...





As you can see, they are back in force. They don't bite or bother you unless you walk past where they are sitting (like everywhere) and then they swarm. And when they swarm they sound like a million wasps are about to eat you.

So, for the next couple of weeks, the wife will be spending her days in-doors. And I'll probably end up swallowing a few hundred of them while I do the outside chores for her. And then they'll be gone...only to return this summer with an even bigger hatch



I had a high speed chase once in the midst of the May-Fly, as they are called here, swarm. What a mess my car was! We too have a great marten population here in the summer, I've read that they migrate back and forth from Argentina!

Bruce's turkey has relatives here as well, we have a flock that wanders around the square mile here all the time.



Edited by - k9wrangler on 05/12/2005 08:52:44 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 6615 Go to Top of Page

MikeC
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 05/12/2005 :  09:31:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit MikeC's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanksgiving, Bruce!

Zebra mussels are a real concern in this part of the country also because of the waterway connections between the Mississippi, Missouri, and Osage Rivers. The state conservation department says it will be a disaster if they somehow make their way into the Lake of the Ozarks.



Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm a busy man. I have a railroad to run.


Visit the Central Missouri & Southern

Country: USA | Posts: 21584 Go to Top of Page

Marken
Fireman



Posted - 05/13/2005 :  5:02:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
The state conservation department says it will be a disaster if they somehow make their way into the Lake of the Ozarks.



The same concerns were voiced here when they first appeared about 5 years ago. Water clarity improved greatly because of their ability to filter great amounts of water. Algae blooms were almost non-existant. Vegatation started to reappear along the shorelines. Fish populations actually improved.

Now everyone is scrambling to find out why they crashed. Personally...after spending time outside in the swarms...I hope they come back!


In memory of Mike Chambers

Country: USA | Posts: 2911 Go to Top of Page

MikeC
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 08/28/2005 :  7:50:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit MikeC's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hummers here, hummers there, hummers everywhere.....

I have approximately (it's really hard to tell!) about 6 pairs of hummingbirds on the feeders every day, all day. I've been trying all summer to get a photo of most or all of them, but it's not been possible because they're so quick and so territorial. Hummingbird wars day in and day out!

Anyway, here are a few of them...











Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm a busy man. I have a railroad to run.


Visit the Central Missouri & Southern

Country: USA | Posts: 21584 Go to Top of Page

sparkman
Engine Wiper



Posted - 08/28/2005 :  8:22:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Brings back memories Mike.
My folks had a feeder when they had a home here.
I agree to them being territorial as I've been buzzed several times whenever I helped my father with the yard work by the feeder. Eerie sensation.
Thanks for the pics.
-david j



Country: USA | Posts: 468 Go to Top of Page

Marken
Fireman



Posted - 08/28/2005 :  8:24:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great pics Mike. We have one that announces it's arrival each year by hovering in front of our patio door. Like it's saying hello and FEED ME!

Our first visit by a commorant in 18 years...



Sat there most of the day.


In memory of Mike Chambers

Country: USA | Posts: 2911 Go to Top of Page

anbhurst
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 08/28/2005 :  8:32:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike,

Those are some beautiful pictures of your hummers. I have tried taking some in the past without good results, mostly through glass windows. How do you set up for your shoots. Is the camera concealed? How do you get good lighting in both the foreground and background, and good contrast of the object at the same time, especially when shooting hi-speed. What are the advantages/disadvantages of using film vs. digital? Guess it could be that I don't have the camera for it? Thanks for responding.

Allen
Modellin' the East in the West!

quote:
Originally posted by MikeC

Hummers here, hummers there, hummers everywhere.....


Allen
Modeling the East in the West on the Northeastern Pacific RIM, Oregon, that is!

Country: USA | Posts: 7247 Go to Top of Page

MikeC
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 08/28/2005 :  9:07:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit MikeC's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks, guys.

quote:
Originally posted by anbhurst

Mike,

Those are some beautiful pictures of your hummers. I have tried taking some in the past without good results, mostly through glass windows. How do you set up for your shoots. Is the camera concealed? How do you get good lighting in both the foreground and background, and good contrast of the object at the same time, especially when shooting hi-speed. What are the advantages/disadvantages of using film vs. digital? Guess it could be that I don't have the camera for it? Thanks for responding.

Allen
Modellin' the East in the West!




Allen, the truth is I just sat on my patio this afternoon and shot these. The 2 feeders in the photos (I have 4 total hanging from tree limbs) are only about 10-15' from the patio and about 7' above the ground. I used a 300mm zoom set at f.8 for most of the pics and a shutter speed of 1/125-1/200 sec. The camera's white balance was set for "shade."

I've been trying all summer to get a decent set of pics of the birds but it's been difficult because of the heavy shade from all the trees. A lot of times, when I thought I had 5 or 6 of them in the viewfinder, they turned out to be "ghosts" in the actual picture.



Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm a busy man. I have a railroad to run.


Visit the Central Missouri & Southern

Country: USA | Posts: 21584 Go to Top of Page
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