Tuesday, June 30, 2009

THE LAST DAY of JUNE, and SOME UNANSWERED QUESTIONS


Today is another cool day. The temp is barely 19C/66F, and there's a stiff breeze into the bargain. Not that I mind, every day we don't swelter here is one day to the good, but still, I wonder - where the fishflies (Mayflies) are. Here it is, the last day of June, and other than a few hundred of them scattered over a couple of weeks, we're still waiting. And by we, I mostly mean the birds and fish and countless other small creatures who depend on nature's outrageous abundance of these winged protein packets. Where are the teeming hordes that coat the buildings and dim the nighttime signs in town? The annoying midges certainly came on time, and in the expected numbers, but what about the elegant, graceful Mayfiles?

Where are the wind-piled drifts of their short-lived fallen bodies in the parking lots? Why aren't they here in mind-stunning numbers like they do every summer in early-to-mid June? Are they coming late, or not at all? This past winter, we had more cold weather, and much more snow, than I recall from my mere four years of living here, and long-timers confirm it was a bad one, for this area. I remember the long hard freezes I experienced in Alberta always had farmers and ranchers rejoicing because the prolonged deep cold meant a reduction in the grasshopper and other pest populations. I wonder if that's going to happen here. Even if the fishflies do finally arrive, what about my personal favorites, the crickets and the fireflies?


It's already getting late in the season. I've seen discarded eggshells from the second brood of birds, and loose molted feathers stuck at angles in the lawn, like tiny quill pens. Today I put on my jacket and went out for a windy walk in the yard, and stopped to contemplate of the side of my neighbor's house, by the old trellis, where last fall I watched dozens of crickets burying their eggs in the sandy soil. Are you okay down there? I silently asked. Will there be choruses of crickets later this summer? And when the corn is shoulder high again, will there be myriad fireflies rising up from among the stalks to dance against the stars on hot summer nights? Only time and temperature will tell.

13 comments:

Annie said...

This is a serious worry. So plantive and heart-felt. I'm pulling for a late arrival.

Poetikat said...

I love the sound of crickets. I often imitate them with my forearms - frantically rubbing them together in silent charades.

I hope they arrive soon.

Kat

Aleta said...

Wow. I never want bugs, but after this post, I'm hoping they arrive for you. Excellent writing!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Deb, It does make one wonder what is going on... We still have no hummingbirds here... AND--our June temperatures were extremely high overall--compared with 'normal'.... Wonder if things will ever be 'normal' again?????

Hugs,
Betsy

bobbie said...

Our friends in India are complaining of a lack of water. Where are the monsoon rains? People everywhere are worrying over weather changes. As I said to AnilP., mankind has not treated our world well. Perhaps it is rebelling.

mom/caryn said...

The weather has certainly done it's best to confuse our growing season here at the Hollow. I'll toss a lucky penny in the wishing well for a late arrival.

I want to tell you how beautifully written this post is. Omagosh! I read it several times and just soaked it up.

Sylvia K said...

I hope they arrive soon, too! I love the sound they make -- haven't tried rubbing my arms together yet, but that may be next! And I think Bobbie may be right, nature is rebelling and I wouldn't blame her!!

Lin said...

it is a strange or rather different kind of summer

Greyscale Territory said...

Fascinating post!

In Australia, we are in the Winter season! We have had some wild weather and chill winds, but in between have been some balmy afternoons that could be mistaken for early Autumn weather!

SandyCarlson said...

Climate change is frightening. We are cool and damp here all the time these days. The greenery is lush and the birds are singing happily, but the corn is still very close to the ground. It's very odd.

Sue said...

I don't mean to discount the reality of climate change, but a certain amount of year to year variation -- even as extreme as you are witnessing -- has always been with us. Because we've learned about climate change, we tend to see every variation as alarming. Some indeed are, and this may be one of them, as one indicator of climate change is a long term change in the timing of species birth/growth/development cycles. But it is also true that animal species (and plant species) have natural periods of growth and even excess, that are followed by years of population crash, and then population rebuilding. I recommend to you an interesting (and disturbing at times) book "Early Spring: An Ecologist and Her Children Wake to a Warming World" by Amy Seidl.

Indrani said...

Do you think global warming is playing its role? Here monsoon has become 'monlate' much to the worry of the farming community. Soon we too will be affected.

Beth P. said...

I'd love to see Poetikat do her cricket imitation. Any videos, Kat?!

Thanks for this post, Deb--I love your simple powers of observation--and how much you care.