September 3, 2009

Summer Sounds

It would appear that I have yet to update my bjournal this summer, and summer is almost gone.

As I write it is after ten at night. The weather is cool, and I have opened the windows. It feels like autumn is approaching, but the sound is still firmly summer's. Closing my eyes and focusing, I hear the steady background din of a thousand crickets, and the closer chirping of ten or so that are nearby. One of the crickets may in fact be a frog, but I'm not sure.

On the way to work, and on the way back, I still hear cicadas in the trees, and I occasionally see them resting on the ground or sitting on a staircase step. If I think one is likely to be trod upon and smushed, I gently move it out of harm's way with a twig. Cicada's don't like to be moved with a twig, as it turns out. They hold fast as long as they can (they're surprisingly strong), moving not at all. Perhaps the cicada hopes to convince me it is dead. But once forced to loosen its grip, it becomes angry and starts buzzing loudly. Some primal part of my brain immediately thinks "bee!" and I recoil like a child. I hope there is a cicada afterlife where the cicada deity shows the recently deceased a flashback of their entire life (mostly as larvae sleeping underground by tree roots), and the cicadas I encountered learn that I had good intentions, and think, "Aww, shucks."

In a few months, when it is cold, I will notice that silent is the night, and I will wonder when everything died, or burrowed underground. So this year, I plan to listen each night and pay attention as it happens. I may even report back. As of now, though: loud insects rule the night.

Posted by cradle at September 3, 2009 10:08 PM

Over the past week and a half, I had to watch the slow dissolution of a cicada that apparently didn't make it off the sidewalk. Sorry to tell you this sad story, but it was interesting because in order to get at all the meaty good parts of the cicada, the ants built up little piles of debris to climb up on to its upturned belly. This feast went on for days. Then someone (the trash men I think) kicked the cicada away.

Posted by: Kim at September 4, 2009 1:43 AM
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