For several weeks I’ve been trying to track down what I thought might be a strange new frog in the garden. The discovery that the “frog like” sound was coming from a Bladder Cicada (charming name) has prompted me to re-post this lament from several years ago. The Bladder Cicada uses its large hollow abdomen as an echo-chamber to amplify its mating call – as if cicadas need amplification!
Below is my original post and nothing has changed, although I have heard a rumour that this year might be worse …
It’s not enough that I’ve discovered still more variations of cicada in the garden, now they’ve gone and organised themselves into shifts !!
First the Dawn Shift which starts at five am and continues until six. So just when you think “ Thank God they’ve stopped” you realise that it’s time to get up.
Then after one hour’s silence, the Day Shift starts. The Day Shift runs from seven am to six pm. This is when all the species of cicada not already rostered on the Dawn, Dusk or Graveyard shifts, compete with each other in an attempt to send you troppo with waves of their ear-piercing calls.
The Dusk Shift starts at six, just in time to drown out both the news and current affairs programmes on television. It stops suddenly at around eight, when the Graveyard Shift takes over for a few hours. The Graveyard Shift is the quietest of all, as dying cicadas crash into windows and lights, then fall to the ground on their backs and rotate like demented helicopters often uttering strange and un-nerving distress calls.
I’m all for a bit of biodiversity, but this is carrying it a bit too far …