10 July 2008

Silent summer

In Six Degrees (reviewed here), Mark Lynas imagines (with a nod to Rachel Carson) the silent summers of the future, when it's too hot for wildlife and no birds sing. An example like the long range severe drought in Australia would seem to point that way.

But on Wenlock Edge in a small corner of England Paul Evans describes a different kind of silence -- one that is brought by too much water not too little (much of England is experiencing torrential rains for the second summer in a row, a phenomenon that may be consistent with regional climate change):
Up where the green woodpecker goes, the wildflowers in rabbit-grazed turf are wonderful this year: drifts of sweetly scented lady's bedstraw, tufty patches of white eyebright, pink scatterings of common centaury, bright gold yellow-wort, dazzling pink pyramidal orchids, tatty rugs of wild thyme and resplendent purple thistles. These plants are thriving, but there's an odd silence where all the insects should be.

No comments: