Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Moving for the weather.....

We don't live in the North of England for the weather - that's for sure. Those who live in Scotland - likewise. Was it Billy Connolly who said ' Scotland has two seasons - June and winter'? No we live in the North for the beauty of the countryside, for the warmth of the people and - let's face it for many of us - because we were born there.
Of course there are those hardy pioneering souls who venture further afield than their birthplace. We know quite a few farmers around here who have sold up and gone to farm in Canada. And I have to say that the farmer and I have been to many parts of Canada and we absolutely love it. And we tell ourselves that if we were younger we would do the same. Nothing prepares you for the beauty, the wide open spaces, the lovely people.....I could go on - but I digress from today's topic.
We also know people who have moved to the continent of Europe - South of France, the Dordogne, Spain, Tuscany - searching for a new life in the sun. (we also know people who have done this and are now desperate to come back).
But it seems it is not just people on the move, but animals too - or rather birds and insects. They are moving in the opposite direction - could it be that they sense something that we don't?

It is common now to see egrets - there was a time when the stark white of an egret standing by a pool in the South of England caused a quick step on the brakes. Now they are quite common-place. And look at the collared dove - they are a recent immigrant too and now we often see a dozen sitting together on the electricity wires.

Now this morning I read in The Times (Paul Simons) that crickets and grasshoppers are migrating here too. Paul says that they seem to be ' barometers of the changing climate'.
Take the long-winged conehead cricket (conehead sounds a bit derogatory) - it popped up in the 1940's on the South Coast but is now moving North at the rate of 7.5 miles each year - it'll be quite a while before it gets up here and I certainly won't still be here to welcome it. Similarly Roesel's bush cricket spent fifty years around the London area but then decided to look for pastures new and is now in the Potteries area.
And as for the yellowy-green cickle-bearing bush cricket - well it hopped over the channel (as you do), set up home in Hastings and has now decided it likes Dungeness in Kent better. As Paul says ' they are on the hop'.

So - if you see any strange crickets in your area of the UK please let the Orthoptera Survey people know - go to www.orthoptera.org.uk to find out more.

Have a pleasant, hoppy day!

13 comments:

Gerry Snape said...

My first shock at seeing an egret in England was spring a year ago on the edge of Morecambe Bay thinking " that's a very big seagull?" then later that year seeing another on the banks of the river in Rome. By the way I'd love to be able to gat on the bus but don't know how. Any advice?

Gerry Snape said...

My first shock at seeing an egret in England was spring a year ago on the edge of Morecambe Bay thinking " that's a very big seagull?" then later that year seeing another on the banks of the river in Rome. By the way I'd love to be able to get on the bus but don't know how. Any advice?

Bonnie said...

Interesting and sobering, Pat. Nature informs us of so much, on so many levels.

Heather said...

An informative and thought provoking post as usual Pat. I shall keep a look out for crickets this summer, especially as it seems to be a 'good' one. We only moved around the country for the sake of my husband's job and although we made lovely friends everywhere we went, I sometimes envied those whose families had lived in the same village for centuries and had that sense of continuity.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Do you know I haven't seen a grasshopper in years and yet I remember in the 70's as a kid in the summer holidays sitting in the foot long dry grass of the family home listening to uncle jackies radio and being surrounded by them, hundreds of them.

Derrick said...

If only it were that simple, eh Weaver? Like the view? Let's stay here for a bit and then move on when the fancy takes! And if these are signs that our climate is getting warmer, I'm sure that for every person who welcomes it, there'll be another who complains!

Textile Art Showcase said...

What an interesting read Weaver. We are just back from a 3 week trip to Canada and like you we have seen a lot of the Canadian countryside over the years and have lived there twice. I wondered if we would still feel the same about it - it is as you say a lovely country and friendly people but I wouldn't want to go back and live there. Great place to visit - but so is our 'green and pleasant land' It is great to visit but it is great to be back.

Shirley said...

I live in western Canada and love the diversity of scenery this country offers whether it be the mountains, plains, foothills, the Canadian Shield or the maritimes. After seeing the beauty of your country courtesy of your blog and blogs of others, oh, how I would love to see it firsthand! It is so amazing! Such sunsets! Wow!

PS My ancestors were from Scotland, England and Hungary

Shirley said...

It does make one wonder when fowl and insects are on the move. Is the climate changing that much?

Reader Wil said...

Great post! Believe me or not, but there are parrots seen here in our parks, which is strange, for a parrot is not an idigenous bird. However it seems to do fine here.The climate is definitely changing.

Poet in Residence said...

There does seem to be a shift in animal migration going on. The grey pelican appeared near us for the first time (as far as anyone knows) and in one area normally devoid of rain, slugs have appeared indroves. In Italy I read there's a plague of tiger mosquitoes. I remember not long ago there were locusts in Cyprus and Portugal. Somehing's definitely afoot. I think the flowers too are on the move.

jinksy said...

A hoppy day? Do we get extra points if we rub our back legs together at the same time?! :)

izzy said...

Thanks Weaver- for visiting- and yes you got the right one! I'll put poetry bus, in my title and not just the bottom tags.