Cicadas are noisy now that the heat of summer is upon us. Hal Borland compares their shrills to "the twanging of a taut and ragged nerve at the peak of a galling summer day, a quiver so painful that you wince a quarter of a mile away". I don't mind their noise so much; as kids we always called them *heat bugs* because their calling coincides with the hottest parts of the day.
I was sitting out on the screened patio this evening having coffee when this one flew into the Rose of Sharon hedge nearby. These are big bugs and so very clumsy in their flying! I'll admit to being a bit afraid of them; as I was taking pics of it I kept repeating over and over, "please don't fly at me... please don't fly at me" - of course I spooked it (and it, me) and it took off out of the hedge and I went in the opposite direction.
A few years ago we inadvertently attracted Cicada- Killer Wasps when we replaced our concrete driveway with pavers. The loose dirt was attractive to these digging wasps and I often watched them as they dragged a cicada into their nest burrows in the loose dirt beside the driveway.
Later I wandered into the garden to pick a few grape tomatoes and some basil and found the shed skin of a cicada nymph on the underside of a tomato leaf. I can remember one summer during my childhood when the willow tree in our backyard was covered with the shed skins of thousands of cicada nymphs. My older brothers terrorized me for all of that summer, tossing the crinkly skins at me and putting them in my hair. Propbably explains why I'm scared of them even now.
festival of Lights
2 weeks ago