The other morning a little before 5, Summer lingered near the front door in a clear signal that she wanted to go out in the front yard on a leash to do her business like the old days. It’s been weeks since I did anything except send her into the fenced-in back yard, and the last time we went out front that early in the morning, there may have been snow on the ground.
This particular morning as we wandered this way and that, up and down the driveway and across the front yard, I began to realize there was an odd humming in the air, an alien buzz that took a few moments to register in my consciousness. It sounded like a truck might sound as its tires sing along the highway, but this sounded like a huge truck in the distance or perhaps an armada of trucks, mercy sakes alive.
I was at a loss as to what it was or where it was coming from, until we headed back to the porch and I saw the dozens of lake flies hovering toward the lights. It was a fresh hatch, and there must have been thousands of them buzzing just over our heads as we patrolled the yard and the driveway. We’re back to the days-getting-shorter half of the year, and 5:15 is before sunrise again, so we could only hear them in the semi-darkness.
A single lake fly has to be close to your ear to be heard, but they make a mighty and eerie and very clear sound when there are thousands of them. What I thought was an alien craft or some other strange vehicle up the road, or down by the bay shore, was a cloud of flying insects not far over my head. It’s a good thing lake flies are benign creatures with no apparent interest in us. A swarm that huge could inflict some damage if they chose.