Still stuck in the senses, but isn’t that great! About five weeks ago the first waves of Black Prince cicadas began to emerge from the ground. We saw an occasional one fluttering between the casuarinas, and looked enthusiastically to see if it was really a Black Prince, or perhaps a Green Grocer or Floury Baker instead. At that stage they stay well-hidden from birds who love a tasty cicada meal. Before long we heard their voices pulsating through the forest. They practise beginning all together, rising to a crescendo, then fading to an abrupt halt …. enough to terrify and bamboozle their hunters, as well, of course, to attract their mates!
Apparently the sound is more dangerous to our ears than an industrial jackhammer! Certainly as numbers have swelled there are times on my walk to the beach that have to cover my ears for protection. In the midst of the cacophony I have stopped amongst the tall gums and casuarinas to try to see the cicadas whose song is assaulting me. They remain almost invisible …. but fortunately there is a tree near the house where they congregate en masse. It must have very tasty sap. That is where I photographed these.This morning was cloudy, so we walked to the beach in an unnatural hush. Even the sea was still. But now sunshine has awakened the cicadas who are serenading us with gusto. Apparently the summer of 2013-14 has seen huge ‘outbreaks’ of cicadas along Australia’s east coast. They are larger and louder than any others for at least ten years, described as “pretty spectacular” by Australian Museum entomologist Dr Dave Britton.
What sounds say ‘summer’ to you? Mmm, theses cicadas certainly outdo the frogs at Dadirri!
Here is a great cicada science story for Australians, and the sounds of the black prince …. and Charles has added a useful link in comments to cicadamania where you can find out anything you ever wondered about to do with these noisy summer insects 🙂