cicada crisis

warmer nights
cicadas calling
life so brief

Every Summer for the 35 years we have lived in the Melbourne suburb of Sandringham, the call of Male Greengrocer Cicadas as been one of the most memorable sounds of the season. These beautiful gentle insects emerge from the ground under trees after incubating for 7 years. They climb into the foliage, fly from branch to branch, eat , call and reproduce. Every warm evening the males begin to vibrate their hind legs and emit ear splitting calls as loud as motor mowers, as they seek out the females. They only live a few days, the females burying their eggs in the ground at the base of the trees they have lived in. Without fail from the first week of December Cicadas calling would happen on every warm evening, sometines the sounds would continue for hours into the night. This year we have had plenty of warm evenings. After 5 weeks of Summer we have heard THREE Cicada calls. Every other year 3 calls would happen within 5 minutes of any warm evening. What has happened? I will investigate , however my guess is one more casuality of climate Change on the insect world. Pity we cannot see the disappearance of useless politicians like this absence of our Cicadas.

My last contact with Cicadas this year happened 6 nights ago. We heard our third call then silence. A short time later there was a thump at the back door. I went out to investigate and this Cicada was sitting on the veranda. I picked it up and it nestled in my hand. I carried it through the house and gently placed it on a fern in the front yard. later I checked and it had gone. We have not heard another call. I would not be as gentle if I met one of our Federal Government politicians.

summer snow

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blossom for bees 

disappearing with the breeze

summer snow

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In Melbourne Australia summer has arrived and weather predictions are for increasingly hotter days, ( over 30 oC and even over 40 o C) as climate change reality continues to remind us to cut CO2 emissions. ( What did our politicians achieve in Lima this week?????) This summer snow is the beautiful blossoming of a particular paperbark tree in our front yard. Many insects including bees are attracted to the nectar and in turn the birds  are attracted to the insects. Our local noisy and prolific Red Wattle Birds double dip on nectar in the mornings and insects in the evening. Hopefully micro-bats also visit to feast on the insects however one needs a bat recorder to pick up their signals as they are usually too small and fast to see and their sound frequency inaudible to the human ear.