Wednesday 14 March 2012: Tzitzikas
In spite of the - to my mind anyway! - chilly mornings, the cicadas are still chirruping away happily here. For the first time in my life I have found it easy to locate and get close to them in the garden - sometimes uncomfortably close, in fact! Yesterday as I went out to bring in the sheets from the washing line I disturbed one and it flew into my (thankfully closed!) mouth. They seem to particularly like the upright posts on the deck and that's where I blipped this one this morning - there was another further up the same post and neither of them moved as I photographed them.
Last week, MPP26 blipped one in her Christchurch garden - a superb capture that showed its translucent wings to perfection, encouraging me to try and get a similar shot. The colours of these creatures when viewed close up are just breathtaking! I found out quite a bit about cicadas on the internet (including that fact that there are over 2,500 species of them) but the only piece of information that I'm going to share is this:
"The name is a direct derivation of the Latin cicada, meaning "tree cricket". There is no word of proper English, or indeed Germanic, etymology for the insect. In classical Greek, it was called a tettix, and in modern Greek tzitzikas-both names being onomatopoeic." - try saying tzitzikas rapidly a few times and you will see how marvellously onomatopoeic it is!
This morning I finally managed to finish my five back-blips for the period 21st-25th Feb, which is a relief. They are not really very interesting given the circumstances, but I wanted to do them as it seems to be quite important to me to have no gaps in my journal and I had made the effort to take at least one photo a day during that period, so it would have been a waste not to upload them. I feel a great deal happier now, not having to see those five mid-grey spaces staring out at me like missing teeth in the middle of February!
In other news, more dismaying details of the murder that I mentioned yesterday have been released. The couple were driving from Murchison to Nelson with the victim's five-year-old daughter in the van when the man pulled over near to the scenic lookout at the top of Spooner's Range and killed the woman. He then drove on into Nelson (a journey of about half-an-hour) with her body in the van, parked it outside the doctor's surgery that I visited with my relative last week and walked into the Police station with the little girl, to tell them what he had done. The poor child is being taken care of by the authorities until her grandparents can come for her. Such an awful thing.