The sky above is filled with thick clouds as a cold wind sweeps over the marsh on this unseasonably chilly day in mid-May, but there is some activity even among a few of the smallest of living things that call this place home. First one mayfly is seen resting with legs upheld by the surface tension of the water; then a second floats right alongside the first. Like sailboats navigating a Great Lake, their transparent wings act like sails as together these insect neighbors are pushed about by the current of a gentle breeze.
It is encouraging to see mayflies present at the Sheer Road Swamp because these beautiful insects are one among many indicators of good water quality and a healthy environment. Many species of mayflies are detrivores, which means they consume decaying organic matter that falls into the swamp, therefore providing a valuable service to the swamp in the decomposition of wood and leaves into soil.
They are our neighbors in this diverse community of life; good, beautiful, loved by God, and a member of the universe’s great symphony of unending praise as all things praise God by being our authentic selves. I am thankful for the mayfly who is worthy of the respect, care, and love that is required of us for our neighbors.