Friday, May 27, 2016

Sing That Song of Cicada Love

I have been waiting patiently for the day to come. 17 years I have waited. Other broods have come and gone and been disappointing. But not this time! This time they sing!

It is time for Cicadas.

Until recently I thought that I might be the only one who has a an obsessive and overwhelming love fondness for these little creatures. But since I have begun to broadcast my love across the internetz others have come forward to say, in quiet voices full of hope, "Yes, I love them too."

Cicadas are a fickle lot. They don't show up everywhere in a region. They don't show up every year. They have "cycles". This year it is Brood V Periodical Cicadas, in case you were wondering about that. I have no earthly idea what that actually MEANS, other than these little fellows are the love children of cicadas that were around 17 years ago. As I recall, WAY back 17 years ago, we were living in Solon, OH, pre-OCK. The house was older, built in the 1930's and the land hadn't been disturbed for a long time which meant that the cicadas hadn't been disturbed either. I remember a bumper crop of them. But then I also remember other things in life that are colored by time and space so maybe there weren't as many cicadas as I remember. Oh whatever.

The last time cicadas were in the area, we had none, NONE at OCK. We had tons of trees, we had plenty of places where they might have been waiting, but nothing. Nada. Zilch. That was evidently because that particular "brood" of cicadas showed up in pockets.

How rude.

This time.....I am seeing them everywhere I go. Especially I am seeing them in and around the office. I try to go for a bit of a walk at lunch time, just to get my big fat bahookie out of the chair. This week, I was strolling along, minding my own business when...I saw something on the sidewalk. Was it? Could it be?

YEEEEEESSSSSS!!! An empty cicada exoskeleton. Thank goodness I tamped down my happy dance so the people in the neighborhood didn't feel the need to call the Popo. There was one on the sidewalk. And then there were a bunch on the sidewalk. And then it was all tiptoe through the tulips so that I didn't step on the platoon that were on the sidewalk and crawling towards the tree and molting right there in front of me. 

And then.....

Does it say something about me that I actually spent time on my walking taking pictures of all of the cicadas? We had better not go there.

I think this love for cicadas comes from childhood, from a particular summer spent at The Cottage,
Which didn't look like this when I was growing up. Both of those red buildings comprised "The Cottage" after the mid-1990's. Before that it was just the flat roofed red cottage. There wasn't a TV, if you wanted to do something you went and played in the lake, except for the whole "you can't go to the lake for an hour after you eat because you will get cramps and DIE" thing, which I think was really just the Parental Units way of getting an hour of dry quiet. One particular summer we were spending most of the summer, or so it seemed to me, at The Cottage. Papa was going back and forth to work and we were just hanging around. Bored. Well, if there is something to read I am NEVER bored, and therein lay the issue. I would have just laid on the REALLY scratchy horsehair couch (an entirely different story not told here), sweating and itching and read all day long.

But Mimi is a meany and she actually made me GO.OUTSIDE.AND.DO.SOMETHING. Which is just parental speak for, "You are bugging the CRAP out of me and no you can't have something to eat."

But what to do outside if I couldn't get in the water BECAUSE YOU MIGHT GET CRAMPS AND DIE! Hmmmmmmmm. She handed me a mayo jar with holes punched in the top and told me to go and collect some bugs. SCHWEET! Actually, it might have been that I already had the jar because I had been collecting fireflies the night before. But however I actually came to have the jar I put it to good use, sneaking up on cicadas, grabbing them just at the back of their wings, which makes them buzz furiously and gets their little legs scrambling, and popping them into the jar with all of their other unhappy brethren. 

And then I would give the jar a good shake, just to make them buzz. And then I would do it again. And again. And again.

It doesn't take much to make me happy evidently. And this memory is such a happy one for me, but perhaps not for the cicadas, that I have loved them and their noisy song of cicada love, ever since.

No one ever said I didn't have more than one screw loose.




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