This is going to be a bit of a ramble to give you some back story, but I'm hoping to get some feedback from those living in other parts of the world and also locals to see if they have seen similar changes.
Growing up in Melbourne, Australia in the 80's meant hot, hot Summers, thunderstorms, lady bugs, earwigs, blue tongue lizards, skinks, kangaroos on the school oval, dust storms and bush fires.
It's interesting how as you grow up you don't notice certain parts of your childhood disappearing. Yes, I remember when Greatest American Hero and MacGyver went off air, but I didn't notice the lady bugs disappear, that is until this year.
The only reason I noticed that they disappeared is because they've re-appeared!
About 2 months ago Hubby called out for me to "Come and check this out!".
He had on a leaf two lady bugs mating. So either it was a gentleman bug and a lady bug or the bugs have gone all new age.
We hadn't seen lady bugs since we were 8 or 9 years of age. I was going to get footage of the two, but felt that it was a breach of their privacy and just felt kind of wrong so we left them to be and thought no more of the matter.
In case there is a lost in translation issue, here's a dinky little picture of a lady bug courtesy of Wikipedia.Look familiar?
Thinking our mating bugs was a one off it was not thought of again.
Until I found another lady bug on my windscreen, then on the lemon tree, the deck chair, they're everywhere! I asked my Mum if she had noticed them at her house. Turns out she had noticed them around again too.
Following the discovery of the cute bug plague, one day I heard a rustling noise at the front door. I went to inspect and found this guy...
For those of you that haven't seen one of these guys before, it's a blue tongued lizard. Extremely pre-historic looking, but they are gentle giants, until they latch onto your finger.
This one would have been a foot and a half long and a real chubber! He had a bit of a wander around, teased the dogs at the front door then went back into his hole. I've been lucky to see one blue tongue lizard every couple of years for the last 15 years.
Back in the mid-80's we would continually be rescuing them from the backyard in Summer and releasing them back into the bush. I've seen 2 more since this guy.. and no they weren't the same one.
So, strange re-appearnace Number 2 - blue tongue lizards.
Next on my list - grasses.
It's at about now you are wondering if I have a life?
I always had budgies growing up. Budgies, or budgerigars, are a native bird that love to eat grasses with seeds. They grew in abundance in our backyard in the 80's. The seeds, not the budgies.
Strange re-appearance Number 4 - Earwigs.Earwigs always look like something that has crawled out of the primordial goo. And this one looks like it could crawl off the page. Eeek! Don't spray your screen please.
Also to add to the list, but you are probably bored out your brains by now are dragon flies, millipedes, butterflies and trees are flowering that don't usually flower.
The only other insect I'm waiting to see again are these ones...
I'm sure you will be holding your breath to hear an update if I find them re-appearing. Oh sarcasm font, how I seek thee.
With hardly any rain this year and all of these little beasties making a re-appearance, does it mean to expect bushfires and dust storms this Summer as well? Only time will tell.
For those not from Australia, a lot of our native flora requires fire to release their seeds from the pods and germinate. So as catastrophic as fire is, it is natural and required in this land. That means it is also cyclical and should be expected.
Unfortunately we live in a suburb that doesn't like you disturbing any fallen logs or cut down trees so we are in an extremely dangerous area for bush fires. On one hand we get told to be "fire ready" and to clear any debris, but if we attempt to move fallen debris we get fined. **shakes head**
So now I ask you, have you noticed anything re-appearing after a long absence in your neck of the woods?