I had an interesting experience while I was out walking the dog one quiet Sunday morning not too long ago. Sunrise is getting later so we were out just after sunrise and it was still and quiet–until we approached our property.
As we got in front of the little patch of woods that we have, I heard all sorts of noise. I stopped because I couldn’t identify it at first. I hadn’t heard it anywhere else on the street. Then I realized it was insects. There were cicadas in the trees, and something else chirping, maybe katydids, and I think I am hearing trees frogs.
It’s been so long since I have heard tree frogs that I am not even sure. I used to hear them all the time 20 years ago. Then a new subdivision went in and a lot of trees were taken down and I haven’t heard them since. So how tree frogs might have found their way to our little patch of woods mystifies me, except that it is now one of the few “little patches” of woods left standing.
But whatever I was hearing was so loud that it literally stopped me in my tracks and it was only in front of my property. Everyone else’s property was quiet.
There are all sorts of articles dating back a couple of years ago talking about stories of insect die-offs as dramatic as 75%. This became known as the “insect apocalypse,” and dire warnings and predictions followed.
Fortunately, some of those studies and methodologies proved to be wrong. But for those of us of a certain age, we can notice that, for example, there are fewer of certain types of insects.
I vividly remember the 2 hour car trips to the beach and back as a child. When we arrived around 9 pm in the evening, our windshield and headlights would be bug-spattered.
Car trips of similar duration now don’t leave our cars bug-spattered. And while I am grateful for small favors, I don’t think the insects have become better navigators. I just think there are far fewer of them.
Is this a problem? I will leave that to the scientists to determine. But in the meantime, I will be grateful that I have a cleaner car and a property that welcomes wildlife of all kind, even invertebrates.