THE CRICKET SEASON BEGINS HERE

The cricket season has begun here. And no, I don’t mean the Ashes. I mean the six legged kind of crickets with whom we share our summer.

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High summer in the valley

I first met my special crickets  last year while weeding the veg  beside some long grass. Out jumped what I was sure had to be a locust – green and large. Nigel didn’t believe me when I described it to him later. Then I saw another and was able to capture it and discovered that we have the ‘Great Green Bush Cricket ‘ living here, the largest UK insect. It is not very common, but occurs locally in pockets around Stroud. How lucky we are to be one of those spots. They like long grass and scrubby edges – just how I like the field.

Anyway secondchild told me today that he has started to hear the crickets. He has splendid hearing despite his love of loud gigs!   I can’t hear them yet. They overwinter as eggs underground and now the nymphs have hatched out and are growing bigger. I have found their moulted skins, from ecdysis , the process of shedding their exoskeletons as they grow.

Nymphggbc July 2013

This nymph just turned up on the kitchen window!

Great Green Bush Crickets are carnivorous and they bite too, so I hope to stay out of their way.

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THE GRASS IS HIGH AND DRY

The July heatwave grass is high and dry. It is studded now with pincushion flowers of waist high field scabious in a shimmer of pale blue. The butterflies bob about in groups among the grass stalks – there are so many of  them here, it is wonderful.

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