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.
These two young birds, a Little Raven and an Australian White Backed Magpie were hanging around the Beaumaris Community Centre demanding food. The Raven had parents who were keeping a close watch however the Magpie seemed a little older and only joined its adults later. A variety of activities occur every day at this centre that includes a Library and Artists workshop/gallery, playgrounds , tennis and other sports facilities. These birds were outside the University of the Third Age outdoor eating/socialising area. Plenty of human food, not much in the way of natural carnivorous bird food though. I was involved in a Photography Workshop and could not resist the temptation of practising the art whilst my colleagues had tea and biscuits.
An interesting comparison at the Middle Brighton Sea Baths in Brighton, (Melbourne) recently. Behind that screen and under the umbrellas were people who had paid to use the facilities . At the adjacent seawall some Cormorants and a Seagull rested up in the sun before taking to the water at their leisure. Same sun, same water. Isn’t the life of a bird so much less complicated?
Two recent photos that sum up Maggie’s life at the moment. Sleeping a lot, or in this case also listening to the soundtrack of “Three Colours Red”. She wandered out from her bedroom to listen. The other image is from our last visit to our only secure off lead park. Here she free form plays if any suitable partners can be found.
Maggie visited our local municipal Art gallery twice recently. She enjoyed the first visit so much we had to plan a return. This had nothing to do of course with the free dog biscuits specially prepared in small packages handed out to all arty dogs . As you can see Maggie was actively engaged with the displayed works and did show a keen interest in the fate of Horatio the cat. This prompted a late entry for Ronovan’s haiku challenge Wake and Wail. Other contributions can be viewed at https://ronovanwrites.com/2019/10/14/ronovan-writes-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-275-wailwake/
Today, the first day of October, the second month of Spring finally feels like that season has arrived. We had a lazy lunch at a cafe in Black Rock where Maggie had the usual fuss made of her and a selfie taken. When we arrived home I went for a walk around the garden capturing some of the different plants currently flowering on my camera. Only five are indigenous, can you identify the exotics. The one we are observing most keenly is our Blueberry bush as it is laden with flowers turning to fruits as the bees attend.
September 20th was one of the most significant days of this century and perhaps of all times. This was the day when young people across the world responded to Greta Thunberg’s call to turn out and let world leaders attending the UN Climate Action Summit in New York to start acting, (fast) as time has almost run out to keep carbon emissions at a safe level. Here in Australia hundreds of thousands heeded Greta’s call. Jill and I attended the response in Melbourne along with over 150,000 others. Our conservative government is ignoring the science and reality, making a lot of noise about acting, however emissions in Australia have kept rising and we are exporting huge quantities of coal to Asia to be burnt. Our Prime Minister was in New York but did not attend the summit, he was not allowed to speak because of his government’s poor record. Instead he met with President Trump, attended a gala function with lots of right wing political and business people and also opened a factory with Trump. The mood has strengthened for Climate Change Action in Australia since September 20 and will continue to strengthen despite our government. They will grow increasingly irrelevant and could not possibly win the next election. I have included a short video I took on the 20th to share the mood.