Oh yeah, you know it's summer here in northern Oz when the deafening drone of the Cicadas begins! It's been going on for a couple of weeks now and it's already driving me completely barmy! Take a listen!
First, I'm going to ask you to go to the sidebar and stop the playlist music... and now you can prepare yourself for the noise.
Yes, folks, this goes on ALL day! The most common Cicada found out in the bushland here is Thopha sesiliba ... or more commonly known as the 'Double Drummer'. It sure lives up to its reputation!
The males all band together out there in the bush and belt out their song from early morning till evening. These creatures sing so loudly that they actually drive away many of the birds that usually frequent the hills here. Did you notice the almost complete absence of bird song?
Apparently the noise of the Double Drummer can be painful to some birds and will interfere with the communication of others. Of course, this is all just a cunning trick to keep the birds away ... these Cicadas sure know how to keep away predators!!!! Even the large Kookaburras keep away most of the day.
Right now, if you were to drop by for a visit, this would be a sight that would greet you in every corner of the property as you were leisurely strolling about. Empty cicada skins can be found everywhere on trees ...
... on the ground ...
and even stuck to the garden bed walls.
These are the outer skins of the nymphs. They dig themselves from underground, climb up onto a tree and emerge as fully winged adults, They will then join the droning throng.
There are other types of Cicada that hang around for the show during our summer here. This is Psaltoda claripennis ... commonly known as the Clanger! You've just gotta love these names!
The song of the Clanger is a bit more like a very rapid and loud rattling clanging sound! Music to the ears!
If only all this sound would keep away the snakes. I spotted this one this afternoon on the kitchen roof gorging on something tasty! Sorry the photo is a bit fuzzy ... I had no intention of getting any closer!
So ... did you want to come on over for a cuppa? ... while watching slithering snakes dine on small creatures, get bitten by March flies and/or mosquitoes, all the while listening to that cicada din in surround sound? Hmmm ... no! Much rather sit and watch the snow fall gently outside? Yes, well I'm sitting inside too ... I retreat to the air-conditioned office for some peace and quiet at this time of year!