Thursday, July 06, 2006

Mayfly Hatch Caught on Radar... very cool - check it out:


Blogger Brendon Etter said...

Yeah, that is very cool.

I remember when I was seven or eight, living in dinky little Meadowlands, MN, between the St. Louis and Whiteface Rivers, and one evening looking out the window and thinking it was snowing... in the middle of summer... needless to say, my brothers and sister and I jumped on our Schwinn banana-seaters and peddled like mad out into the face of a blinding, white Mayfly blizzard.

There were millions of them, covering everything, mounds on the streets, our clothes were smeared with them by the end of the ride. I grabbed a small net and held it in front of myself as we rode; it filled again and again, very quickly.

There were times when you honestly had a very hard time seeing, like staring into a driving snow with the high beams on, a million, billion mayflies all diverging from the center of your vision.

I remember feeling fascinated and nervous; it was like an "end-times" prophecy coming true.

Keep up the great writing, Justin. I especially like your environmental commenteries.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Meadowlands?! We used to drive over their to play basketball... T-M Rockets. Did you graduate from that school?

I had no idea that such a creative mind could come out of Meadowlands MN! They should erect a Bleet statue up there.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Brendon Etter said...

Holy crap! Are you serious?! NO ONE knows where Meadowlands is! I lived there from 1974 until 1981 - which means age 4 to 11 for me, or headstart (I was in the inaugral headstart class in the nation, go Nixon(??!!)) through 5th grade.

It was an experience. Population 124. When my family left, we took 5% of the population, and about one-third of the little league baseball team.

What I remember of Meadowlands - and I remember a lot - was heading out after breakfast, finding the friend in town (really only one friend my age), and riding our bikes frickin' everywhere.

Hunting for tadpoles in sewage ponds.
Fishing for catfish and suckers in the St. Louis River.
Building horrible tree forts half a mile out in the woods.
Playing three person football and baseball games.
Breaking into abandoned buildings and exploring.
Swinging from ropes out into the murky brown rivers.
Climbing on the school roof.
Ghost riding our bikes into another bike.
and many other, much more dangerous, things...

I did that from the time I was 5 or 6 until I was 11.

My parents never knew where I was.

It was very cool, looking back on it now.

Where are you from that you'd actually head to the land of the Toivola-Meadowlands Rockets?

They had one of the fiercest 9-man football teams in the state during the late-1970s, frequently winning games with scores like 60-0, 56-6, etc...

School is closed down now; my house is still there. I went back this winter and took pictures of things that would only really matter to me. A very weird feeling.

And, of course, as with all the places you remeber when you were small, everything looked so much bigger then.

I've got a million little stories about that place. A real Lake Wobegon, but smaller.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Hill City MN: Population 469.

It's great to read your list of childhood activities... very familiar to me. Here is what we did as kids:

(1) "ride around" - this is equivalent to your "biking to nowhere" only we had a name for it. We'd actually say on the phone "do you want to ride around?" - pretty funny.

(2) play baseball and football in the church yard... first and third were both trees, second was a corner of the church and if you hit it off the church roof it was a homer... played with a tennis ball so we wouldn't break windows... we loved our catholic priest for allowing this privilege... then he left and a strange polish man took over who ran out the first time he saw us come up to bat and said "you cannot play here - no - you cannot play here."

(3) steal crabapples, raspberries and rhubarb... this was greatly aided by "riding around".... funnny what a big part of life crabapples were: we also would spend hours throwing them up to ourselves and smashing them with wiffle ball bats for distance competition... we could really belt the crap out of those things.

(4) try to hit bats (the mammals) with rocks at night... entire childhood we made contact with one bat... sorry for that one...

(5) play capture the flag...

(6) trade sports card - BIG deal for us - we were card hounds...

Those were the core activities. It amounted to a pretty good childhood I'd say.

We never did beat the T-M Rockets, but we were always very close. They had a couple of supra-pubescent guys who could dunk and that intimidation factor helped them a lot.

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