Posts Tagged 'cicadas'

Me and the boys

Here in the mid-Atlantic, everyone is being serenaded by lots of love-starved, bug-eyed cicadas. Tree canopies vibrate with their noise. I’ve had business meetings where people ask me to turn down the AC or the mechanical noise on my side of the call, and I have to say, “Nope, that’s the bugs!”

It’s loud, and raucous, and drowns out the sounds of lawnmowers. Impressive. At least one or two of the lotharios have tried rattling against the siding of a drain spout, to get the attention of the lady cicadas. Are there any female cicadas yet? I have no idea. But….

When they fly, they catch the sunlight in their wings. They look very different from the slightly cross-eyed looking black bugs with bright red eyes. In the morning, when I’m half awake, they look a little bit like clumsy fairies who land and then fall off the boxwood or the tulip tree. They’re apparently tasty: neighborhood birds have cleared up some of the straggling bug castanets. If you ask me whether they are tasty, I can only say the birds act like they’re a delicacy and newspeople have been talking recipes (nope. Not trying stir fry.).

Photo of a 17-year cicada on the trunk of a young gingko tree. He has red eyes, a black body, and golden wings.
Lovesick troubadour

I’ve had conversations with neighbors where we shout over the din: “They’re really loud!” “Yes! I’m glad they quiet down at night.” It’s like someone cloned 50 copies of the Backstreet Boys, and then let them out to do a concert and they’re all slightly off sync, so instead of a coherent song you get a mosaic wall of crashing sounds.

I am glad they quiet down at night. I wish they’d sleep in.


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