Sounds of Summer

Afternoon flashback: I was thinking how the sounds of summer are different than the sounds of winter. The symphony starts with spring peepers, early in the year, then builds through the months, finally reaching a crescendo near summer’s end, when the cicadas add their insistent hum to the sounds around.

Back_Forty_Summer_8604-Cicada

The Shell Out of Which a Cicada Hatched - Summer 2011

Growing up in New York State, I don’t recall ever hearing (or at least noticing) cicadas. I was in Japan when I first noticed the  蝉(せみ)- cicada. Since that is where I first became aware of that hum of late summer, I always think of them first by their Japanese name. It is pronounced “semi,” the e is a short e, the i is pronounced as in Latin, with a long e sound. The call of the cicada seems to herald the onset of Autumn.

3 comments on “Sounds of Summer

  1. Your picture reminds me of one I posted last summer:

    http://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/exuviae/

    I’ve lived in Texas for a long time but, like you, I grew up in New York, where I semi-remember cicadas. (I couldn’t resist the wordplay.)

    Like

  2. Anikesh says:

    The fun thing about the females being so large is that they make teduenroms noise when they fly. And they’re quite inquisitive, so they always buzz around me checking me out (I always think they’re looking to see if I’m hiding any cicadas on my person). They sound like small B52 bombers when they get close.But here’s the real intimidation factor, C: I’m deathly allergic to wasp and ant stings (and bees to a lesser degree). I’ve always wondered if my fascination with this species is equivalent to playing with fire. Getting over my apprehension was a big move, and since then I’ve honed my skills at getting the males to perch on me and/or to be comfortable around me. Admittedly I’ve also had females perch on me and I’ve helped them get off the ground when they’ve crashed with a cicada in tow, but they’re usually too busy to hang around much.

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