Back to The Meerkat Magic Conservation Project - helping to conserve Wild Meerkats and Mongooses since 1993!

SCREAMING BUGS! The spy network in The Meerkat Magic Valley Reserve

Meerkats and Mongooses become highly alert when this insect is suddenly why in this video from today and the audio poem provided:

Meet The-Bush-Thermometer and hear it SCREEEEEEAAAM! SCREAMING BUGS?! White noise...

The deafening buzzing in this video from today is from a tiny heat protesting insect...The Cicada.

It inspired a published poem of mine included below as a read poem link and the text is included too.

When the call stops suddenly, it triggers a warning alarm throughout the area as wildlife respond to a potential threat.

This poem is called: The Silent Call by Grant M. Mc Ilrath The Meerkat Man: It can be listened to as I read it on my video channel here:

As a professional wildlife research biologist and Nature Conservationist I often stare in complete wonder at the natural world around me, and often feel inspired to try and capture the essence of what I experience, by painting it in words.

This poem is dedicated to all the thousands of Meerkat Friendly visitors from around the world who have heard the cicada when visiting me over the years.

The following poem attempts to capture what I have experienced over many years while watching Wild and Free Meerkats / Suricates of The Ungulungu group in The Meerkat Magic Valley Reserve of The Meerkat Magic Conservation Project around Oudtshoorn Western Cape South Africa...

The cicada is a very important and yet diminutive insect that lives in The Meerkat Magic Valley Reserve - I have listened to the cicada for countless hours, and I have realised how important it is in the ecology as the equivalent of an alarm system / neighbourhood watch.

This poem appears on page 159
in my internationally published
MEERKATS conservation book
from February 2016.


Composed and read by Grant M. Mc Ilrath The Meerkat Man

Secretively hidden in plain sight
compound eyes shining bright
drinking and feasting on
delicious plant sap
but like a hidden snare
all visitors here should beware
caught by the all-seeing eyes
in this insect alarm triggering trap.

Cryptically cloaked
adorned with transparent
blotchy bark back patterned wings
tymbals in your abdomen vibrate
allowing you to sing
resonating louder on
the hottest of days
beating in rhythm with the pulsating
shimmering furnace heat haze.

As if you were nature’s own
finely tuned bush thermometer
As the heat rises
so do your singing exercises.

The shrouded secretive subtle mask
this diminutive spy wears in daily bask
attempts to never reveal this
creeping insect to our bewildered daze
unless it is disturbed
when it launches into a rapid buzzing flight
only to land once again
and vanish from human sight.

With any disturbance
no matter how small
the most piercing alarm of all
is from the cicadas silenced call.

The silence
reverberating throughout
the myriad senses
that perceive potential threat
who reside in balanced rivalry
in The Meerkat Magic Valley Reserve,
and yet...

The silent call is louder than
a deafening roar to all those
who cannot ignore
what the sudden change
in piercing volume screams.

The multifaceted omatidia compound eyes
of the sneaky cicada tell no lies
being a true master of
nature’s neighbourhood watch
if danger is sighted
it's song once ignited
is suddenly gone
extinguished and replaced
with a warning gong
shattering any neighbours
slumbering dreams.

In The Meerkat Magic Valley Reserve,
silence is never as peaceful…
as it seems.

to comment