Thursday, March 24, 2011

Just not cricket

It seems only fitting that now we're having a bit of a plague: after the earthquakes, all we need now for the full set would be an eruption, I think. Which is never out of the question, of course.

It's been such a long, hot, dry summer that the crickets have done especially well, to the extent that for once they've pretty much drowned out the normally more strident cicadas, and have been trilling 24 hours a day. It's disorientating, because I associate them with night-time, when the cicadas go quiet: to have them going full bore in the heat of the day messes with my head. The chickens, though, think it's a great boon, and have been stuffing themselves. Eating green grass makes their yolks go gold - I've still to establish what effect a diet high in black crickets might cause. It would help if I could find their eggs.

The crickets leap away from your feet when you walk on the grass, and when you mow it there's quite a spectacular bow-wave of shiny black insects in front of the mower. Well, maybe not spectacular, that's an exaggeration now that I remember central west Queensland last year, when the (huge - see above) locusts were so thick that our hire car had a plastic mesh tied over the radiator grille so they didn't clog it up and make the engine overheat; and where in Longreach all the palm trees looked like chimney brushes because they'd eaten all the green bits off the fronds. Trust the Australians to go OTT.

What a dull post. Sorry: it's because I've been filing all day. But that's a clue that there will be more interesting stuff coming up soon, not the least of which will be whale sharks!

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