Sunday, April 24, 2011

Summer Night Lullaby in Stereo

"Your voice, he interrupted, is also like a cicada, not only a corn-crake. Do you know the legend about cicadas?
They say they are the souls of poets who cannot keep quiet because, when they were alive, they never wrote the poems they wanted to."  … from author John Berger.

I was talking to a friend yesterday, and she asked me if I had alot of cicadas in my yard.  I told her I had seen a few, but nothing significant.  She told me she has had 100s of them in her yard the past several days, and her dogs had been eating them like chicken nuggets.  I immediately thought how much the chickens would enjoy a cicada buffet.  One thing I noted is the ones I've seen lately have red eyes.  I don't remember ever seeing a cicada with red eyes.  Then this morning, Nate told me he took some interesting photos last night of a cicada.  I flicked through the photos, and my curiosity was piqued. 

Apparently, the year of the periodical cicadas is upon us.  Periodical cicadas emerge every 13 years, the last time being 1998 and the next time will be 2024.  The female lays its eggs in the nooks and crannies of trees and the eggs hatch after several weeks.  The newly hatched eggs crawl down the trees and burrow into the ground to feed for 13 years.  Once they emerge from the ground, they exit their exoskeletons and start the cycle over.

If you're used to the sound cicadas make in the summer, it is like a lullaby coaxing you to sleep.  With the addition of the periodical cicadas mixed with the annual ones, the lullaby may be in stereo this year.

Sweet dreams,


1 comment:

  1. That is very interesting and these photos are so cool!