Thursday, August 13, 2009

Joy in the "music" of summer!! Day 4 of Daily Be's Daily Joy photojournal week

I'm no bug expert but all my life I have known these to be called locust. After looking them up on line, I find they are really called "cicadas". Where I have lived it seems they were always called locust and grasshoppers were called grasshoppers. I guess that grasshoppers are really locust and locust are really cicadas! I should of become a bug expert since the earth is loaded with them!

In the summer time in Missouri and Kansas, the two states I have lived in) cicadas make this very distinct sound that fills the air. It's really loud and you just know that it is the music of the locust. When you think of summer that is the noise you expect to hear, right around dusk. If you click here, it will take you to a website that describes "cicadas" and has samples of their "music". I listened to a few and the ones that sound most like mine are called "magicicada septendecula songs. You have to scroll down into the web page before you see it. Oddly, the cicada is not mean , even though they look dangerous. They do not sting or bite and we often caught them as kids. They like to sit on tree bark and sing and molt, leaving behind a brown "paper" shell of themselves that is a neat treasure for any child.

These creatures are still puzzling to modern science. God is amazing! There are 2 types: the periodical and the annual. The periodical have 2 groups that only emerge every 17 years or every 13 years. Scientist can not figure out how they count the days and know to come out on those Prime numbers. It's also important to their survival that they do this and not mix the 2 types. The annual come out yearly. They all live underground and even the annuals live underground for 2-8 years before ever seeing daylight. When the periodical arrive and sing with the annuals it becomes very noisy and loud but you grow to love the sound!

We used to sit outside on most summer nights when I was a child. That was before air conditioning and it was cooler outside so that is what folks did. We would go to my Grandma's and my Grandpa would cut up a big o' watermelon and everyone sat around eating watermelon and talking. We don't do enough of that now a days. I miss those times and when I hear the music of summer it takes me back to those feel good times when things were so much simpler. We try to make life easier, with all our gadgets and inventions, but I think in the end we are only taking one step forward and two steps back. A dance to the music of summers long gone.

It still brings me joy that the cicadas are still around and their "music" has not changed. I'm sure someday, like the bees and the song birds, we may find that they might start disappearing too, leaving science to ponder what has gone wrong once again.....

1 comment:

  1. Being a born and raised California girl cicadas were new to me when I moved east, but we have the 17 year ones here...and wow, did I learn about cicadas! They were everywhere and their sound is deeply imprinted on my mind. Thanks for sharing the memories!


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