Well, here we are, one week into summer in the southern hemisphere and we have already had every type of weather extreme. On Monday it was a boiling 36c and we were all in shorts and eating icypoles. Now it is day six and we are all back to woolly jackets and freezing our butts off. The driving rain didn’t stop all day yesterday and we spent last night shivering in the cold.
No, I didn’t light the fire, it’s December for gods sake! We should have been barbequeing! Maybe I should get some more wood in though, there was even a snow report on the news yesterday morning…
That 36 degrees is far too hot for me. I’m not a hot weather lover at all and looking at the insects in the garden I’m probably not the only one.
I want to do a bit of gardening, stripping out a bed and putting in some new stuff, but I am
too lazy have been leaving that particular bit of garden to go crazy for the insects.
I love a nice neat garden but at the same time I love it when things start running to seed and are covered in flowers. The bees and other pollinators love it even more and flock in for their share.
On Monday, when clearly the world was about to combust, I dragged myself outside to check if the chooks had enough fresh water.
I stepped off the back verandah into a shady patch of ground (the edges of which I hadn’t been overly attentive to with the mower, frogs live there) to find every
weed blade of grass abuzz with Hover flies.
Usually these guys find a place to hover where they can hold position for as long as possible. Clearly the ability to do that is hugely attractive to the females of their species.
It just so happens that on this particular hot day the places they all wanted to hover were all in the shade. Rather than maintaining a polite distance from each other as they normally do, there were so many (hundreds!) they were all pretending that it was ok to be standing around on the same blade of grass waiting for a turn in the limited airspace.
I felt sorry for the poor fried things and, after finding the well-watered chooks happy now their muddy yard had turned back into a dust bath, I hunted down a shallow dish and filled it with water and old fish tank rocks (so they could walk about and drink, but not die a splashy death) so the hover flies could have a drink too.
I placed it near them and wondered if they would all share, or if I had just accidentally given one of the Hover Flies the best slice of hoverable real estate ever, and that the females would be flocking in for this bloke with the nice new swimming pool…..
After a few minutes I noticed that a some of them had managed drift in the right direction and snatch a drink. I guessed that over time any of them who wanted to would find a way to hover in the right spot, so I retired back to the interior and my own cold drink!