Thursday, August 8, 2013


     Summer has peaked and we're on the down slide toward fall.  There's just something in the air that whispers this to me, not a chill exactly, but a hint of decay, as if everything has stretched just past its pinnacle and is now beginning a slow, tired decent.
     Of course, the damp heavy heat still enshrouds us.  It's like being in the mouth of a dog. This lasts sometimes as far into fall as Halloween when children have to shed their costumes piece by piece because of the heat.  It's often to hot for masks and capes.
     Now the air is full of the ringing rattle song of cicadas high in the trees.  In the daytime I find their shed husks hooked on tree trunks, or clutching the wooden edges of the rabbit hutch or the underside of leaves.
     These little exoskeleton-like things have never frightened me.  When I was younger we would attach them to our shirts like brooches just to creep people out.  Or I remember once collecting about 16 or 17 of them and lining them up on the dash of a friend's car so that when he came out to drive, he would have a little surprise.
     Like the Halloween children, these creatures shed their skins at night, and if we go around with a flashlight, we can sometimes find them in the moments of "rebirth," bending out away from their old skin.  It's a slow process I think.  They emerge from a slit in their back and the new wings have to dry before they an fly off and sing.

     Ew!  Remarkable, but so weird!!


  1. Wow - what a shot. I've never seen THAT before! We have a few cicadas here and there - heard them twice on my last ride. Such an odd, almost metallic sound, always high up in certain trees.

    Our summer has cooled down and is very pleasant right now - but so mild that something feels slightly wrong. August isn't supposed to be this nice.... :)

  2. My daughter went through a cicada shell collecting phase for a couple of years. She had gallon-sized ziplock bags FULL of them in her room. I had to squash my own negative reaction to them and embrace her enthusiasm.

  3. That's amazing about the cicadas - I didn't know they did that. It's not a sound we hear much here, but I associate it with holidays in hot places. x