Friday, August 19, 2011

Week-end Simple: Listen to the cicadas

Where I live, summer has always been bookended by two insects, the firefly and the cicada.

For me, summer begins on a dusky night in mid-June when I spy my first firefly.  "Firefly!" I say aloud, like a child, resisting the temptation to find a jar, poke holes in the lid, and capture enough fireflies to make a lantern.

Likewise, I know the summer is coming to an end when the song of the cicadas punctuates the hot, thick August air.  I am fascinated by cicadas, by how they can be so noisy yet invisible, and how their songs can be distinguished, if one listen's closely. 

The cicadas whine all day, but it's at night when I really listen.  Sitting outside, or laying in bed with the windows open, the cicadas' elegiac song is a lullaby signaling the end of another summer.

9 comments:

  1. It's ridiculous, I know, but after visiting Moustier Ste-Marie last summer, I will sometimes listen to this just for the sound of les cigales:

    http://www.bastide-moustiers.com/LA-BASTIDE-DE-MOUSTIERS?lang=fr

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  2. M, thanks for the great link; what a beautiful place! And, as sad as their song is, I love it. Summer after summer, it never ever changes.

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  3. The cicadas have been alive and well in central Texas for a couple of months now. At first, they are loud and a little annoying. Now they are part of our late afternoon/evening soundtrack and it would be strange if they were silent.

    When my cat was alive, she used to hunt for them and bring them to the back porch. She loved how they would buzz in her jaws - she would squirm and do whatever happy dance cats do.

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  4. I've recently heard some city people complain about the noise. I want to look at them and say, "really, compared to the helicopter patrols on the weekend and kids out until all hours of the ngiht?" *sigh* My midwest upbringing is shining through here, because I love the sound of them. Although, back home, like in Texas, they're out all summer long.

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  5. The crickets sound like sleigh bells as they sing through the night. So August feels like Christmas when I close my eyes. I'm seconds from sleeping as it crosses my mind. That everything changes and this is my time

    Nina Gordon

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  6. It just would not seem like summer without them! - Lana www.lifeatwildberrycottage.com

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  7. I love the sound of cicadas. They are singing the song of summer.

    Fiona
    http://howtobechic.blogspot.com

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  8. Ugh, I don't like cicadas. They are gross and too loud. I also enjoy fireflies but the end of summer sound I enjoy are the katydids talking at night.

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  9. Great post, also love the sound of cicades. From engagement rings

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