mayfly with "egg ball"
I first spotted a bright yellow blob flying above my head through a clearing in the forest. I tried to capture it with my hands, but my best reach with hiking boots is only 6'5". Fortunately, Ken is quite a bit taller and was fast on his feet. He gently used his hat as a makeshift net so that I could get a picture. He wants to know what kind of mayfly it is, but I'm afraid I'm going to disappoint.
The thing with mayflies is that each species has a unique wing vein pattern. I was hoping this one would be common enough to be represented online. Nope. The closest match I could find was an illustration done by Professor N.J. Kluge out of Saint Petersburg State University. I've sent him an e-mail query with hopes he may be able to ID this ephemeral beauty. We'll see if he responds.
I gotta say, this was one of the most entertaining IDs I've researched in a while. Looking through online images, I found a lot of incredibly realistic mayfly ties and lots of people big and small proudly hugging large fish. Haha. In fact, the best online key I found for mayflies in North America is made by The Fisher Monk. It works better if you have a specimen in hand. His links don't work so well, but scrolling down shows some very useful illustrations. It takes a bit of talent and practice to accurately draw wing venation, even with the use of modified scope projectors. Back in the days before macro digital photography, I was an honorary adjunct professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art (the other CIA) for their Medical Illustration Program. I gave 2 classes a year, line and form in the fall and color in the spring, using insects from the museum's collections. The methods for illustration have changed quite a bit since then, including the use of scanners, like what The Dragonfly Woman does.
Lastly, while searching for information, I came across a couple impressive sites: