Monday, 24 August 2015

Family came......

it was hot, and humid, debilitating temperatures were blowing up from southern Europe
a thinly veiled mist hung across the valley bottom 
not so, on our hilltop eerie, where skies were clear. We strolled hoping for respite and cooler air, but the caressing breezes felt warm

Suddenly thunderous clouds rolled in, then just as quickly rolled out
I stooped to capture the small seeds of the thistle attached to pappus umbrellas of hairs acting like parachutes transporting them away to far distant corners. 
"What's that?" in the clump of thistles youngest son had heard a noise - a loud long continuous song sounding like a sewing machine in need of oil. An impossible insect to spot being blessed with perfect camouflage, unless you happen to catch his song. He starts his singing in the afternoon which continues throughout the night. Don't touch, he can give you a nasty bite.
This is the singing male 
A Great Green Bush-cricket - Tettigonia viridissima -
by far our largest Bush-cricket measuring about 4 - 5 cms long - bright green for camouflage with an orangey-brown stripe running the length of its body with long wings. In England only found in the southern half of the country - my first ever sighting
and this is the female presumably enamoured by his singing
 Look how well the male and female both blend in with the thistle stems and leaves

42 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you - I am pleased that you enjoyed seeing them

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    1. Agreed Debra - he seems to be devouring something that has a little hook at the end of it.

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  3. Good capture of the two crickets.
    Clouds are always intriguing.
    The first photo - nice scene.

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    1. I would never have spotted them, it was my son who heard them

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  4. what great captures!!! how lucky you were to catch both the male AND female!! and nice little story, to boot!!! thank you!

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    1. He was only singing because the lovely green lady was close at hand

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  5. Your photos of the crickets are stunning!

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    1. Macro photos are so wonderful - aren't they? revealing so many little details missed by the naked eye.

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  6. What fantastic photos...oh it was a treat to see these crickets...never seen them myself!

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    1. Hello Suzie - I had no idea that we had such big crickets living here - well done to my son for hearing the male singing to the female

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  7. Beautiful photos Rosemary - such beautiful countryside. But wait, a cricket - what an ugly brute - was it as big as it looks in the picture - horror!

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    1. He was a big chap Elaine, I was surprised at just how large they both were having never heard or seen of them before. Pre-decimalisation I should say roughly 2 inches long.

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  8. Replies
    1. Would never have spotted them myself Amy - I have my son to thank for hearing him

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  9. It is a good job we men don't have to rely on our singing!!!
    Great photos.

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  10. You made me want to have a macro lens, Rosemary. I haven’t seen green crickets but only brown ones in person. No such big ones, either. Bell crickets are singing livelily both inside and outside my home. The ones kept in the cage sing long protected by natural enemies in the garden. When their voice gets mute, autumn finally comes.

    Yoko

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    1. Late summer through to the beginning of Autumn is their singing time here too. It is strange that they breed so much later than other animals, I wonder why that it?
      Because I only have a little point and shoot camera I assumed that everyone had a macro feature on their camera, just goes to show how little I know.

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  11. Hello Rosemary, That is one of the rewards of spending time in nature and becoming attuned to it--seeing rarities like the great green bush cricket. Now that you have spotted your first one, your next sighting might come a lot sooner, since you have separated it from its camouflaging background.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - yes, you are right - I now know that they like these clumps of thistles and what time of the year they are active. It was interesting to watch him making his song as he briskly rubbed his back legs up and down his wings.

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  12. Beautiful pictures. My favorite is the first, which views!
    I think that the locusts are no longer, but I will not just hear it low sizzling.
    It is the age of the character. :D

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    1. I am pleased that my son was with us on this walk, heard his song, and was able to point both of the crickets out to the rest of us.

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  13. I didn't know they bite, I'l be ore careful next time I see one.

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    1. If you need to handle them then do so with care - the male in the photo seems to be in the middle of devouring something that has a claw on the end of it.

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  14. Dear Rosemary, I love your wonderful photographs but looking at that cricket all I can think of is what ferocious eaters they are. A pair of them would do my garden in in no time. .

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    1. Dear Gina - your beautiful garden would be safe as they tend to eat grass and little insects preferring to live on heathlands and wild meadows.

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  15. What amazing crickets, and so colour matched to their surroundings, you did well to even spot them Rosemary!

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    1. No credit due to me Patricia - it was youngest sons finely tuned ears that heard it first, and then we all gathered around to see them.

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  16. These pictures of the Great Green Bush-Cricket are gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you Janneke - I only took these two photos and luckily they turned out to be OK

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  17. That's an amazing picture of the great green bush cricket. We have crickets in the garden I love their sound it reminds me of a summer holiday in the hills in the South of France. Sadly my husband can no longer the sound they make much to his frustration! Sarah x

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    1. That is the trouble as we get older - my son heard it clearly as his hearing is sharp.
      I was very surprised when I saw the photo on the computer as the details around their mouths are so complex, along with the heart shaped feet, and details in their bodies.

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  18. So beautiful...
    Have a happy week Rosemary!
    Titti

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    1. Thanks dear Titti - hoping all is well with you.

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  19. Yikes! I've never heard of a stinging cricket. Thanks for the warning.

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    1. It's a bite rather than a sting Sarah - I don't know whether all crickets bite, but these Great Green Bush Crickets are quite large and do have a substantial jaw. However, most people do not go around picking up crickets and if left alone they do no harm.

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  20. Replies
    1. I was really quite taken aback when I first saw them, they were so large.

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  21. Beautiful pictures to go with your words Rosemary. I do wish English was my first language and I could write like you do. I love reading English.
    Such amazing and wonderful creatures these bright crickets are. Good thing you put down how large they really are. Pictures can be deceiving about that. These are huge crickets!

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    1. Now you make me feel embarrassed Marian by the fact that I can only write English and you can write your own language and English too. Your English is always first class.
      I apparently under estimated the crickets size as they can actually grow to be as big as 8 cms, so yes, you are correct they are huge, I was really surprised when I saw them.

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