Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Another 'Silent Spring' & More for Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Is it another 'Silent Spring'? (No, we're not referring to the late, great Rachel Carson's classic Silent Spring...). Well, actually its now summer, but we've noticed some missing residents around here in lower eastern Michigan. We were up - quite early this morning, before sunrise - and noticed a deafening silence. 'Where were the crickets?', we wondered. Any other year, this time of day and season, you could hear their chorus. We find the complete absence of one of our favorite insects a little disturbing and eerie. We have found a couple (two, exactly) of the smaller field-variety brown crickets - during this whole season... Is it a cause for concern?
Always silent and always appearing en masse, we missed another of our insect friends - Ephemeroptera or the Mayfly. Where have they been this year? Is it too cool and wet for them, this year? Or is it some other unknown reason? Is it linked to our disappeared Gryllidae? We don't know...
Another missing resident is the common Bufo bufo and some of our other Anuran friends. Last spring, we encountered hundreds of their tadpoles in drying tire tracks. Many of which we believe to have matured and survived as we heard their croaks and groans earlier this year. Now, the areas where we had encountered them just one year ago are nearly and/or completely silent. The tire tracks are still there. They are wet. But, inexpicably they are uninhabited. Is it too late in the season? Or is there some other, more ominous reason? We hope to post video evidence of this soon, but lacking funds, we must ask for donations to do this. Otherwise, the evidence may never be posted.
We had previously posted our concerns about the anurans and bufo previously (in another venue...) and received some derogatory comments regarding that. But, we expected that. However, we did not expect a complete disappearance. Believing that the little creatures form the ecological foundation for the rest of the biosphere, we wonder if the next phase of disappearance is coming. We firmly believe that what happens to our other earthling neighbors, happens to us...

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