Dancing in the Moonlight.
The mayflies of the species Ephoron virgo may spend most of their lives hidden away as unassuming larvae in the rivers of Europe, but their brief emergence as delicate, pale adults is a stunning spectacle to behold. Each year, under the cover of darkness, these elusive creatures transform into winged beings, frantically seeking a mate, laying their eggs, and passing on before the sun rises again. Sometimes, the swarms are so massive that the Dutch call them “Zomersneeuw” or “summer snow,” as the mayflies dance and flutter around streetlights. In 2018, during an exceptionally hot summer, I was lucky enough to witness this enchanting display on the banks of the Nederrijn near Wageningen. Returning several nights in a row, the ephemeral mayflies took flight around me in the moonlight, creating a magical scene that I’ll never forget.