Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Sound Missing This Summer

... at least here in New York.

I have yet to hear a single cicada this summer. The weather has been perfect for them, hot and dry.

In Texas summers, the little critters can be deafening with their singing. It's amazing that so much noise could come from so small a creature.

Here's what I used to hear on summer afternoons at the hottest time of the day:



Sometimes I would hear whole Mormon Tabernacle Choirs of hundreds of these insects singing this very song like this:




A different variety of cicada sang a very different song in the evening:






The Chinese appear to be fond of their cicadas. They show up in Chinese painting for centuries.



Zhao Shao-ang, Bamboo and Cicada, 1966




Palace Ladies Listening to Birds and Cicadas, from the Tomb of Prince Li Xian, 8th century, Tang Dynasty.

9 comments:

Grandmère Mimi said...

When I'm walking at dusk or after dark, I sometimes hear cicadas singing, but not in the numbers that I once did.

BillyD said...

I miss the sound of cicadas in the summer. But I heard something that sounded like one the other day - I didn't even know that there were any up here in Rhode Island.

Counterlight said...

We've never had Texas sized choruses of cicadas in New York, but we do have them, or at least we used to.

it's margaret said...

We were just commenting that there were not many this year.... last year they were thick...

David G. said...

I can't stand the noise, makes my ears ring. That and crickets, ... and I'm not to fond of frog noise either.

Counterlight said...

David, I'm guessing that you don't like songbirds much either.

David G. said...

Birds don't bother me, unless they're Blue Jays, or Crows.

Grandmère Mimi said...

David G, I must agree. Blue Jays and crows are not my favorite birds, and their "songs" are not lovely. One year, when I was a slip of a school girl, during nesting season, a mother Blue Jay terrorized me by swooping down and sometimes pecking me on the head as I walked to school. I crossed the street to no avail. She followed me. I ended up taking a detour around the block just to avoid her terror tactics.

Wilfried said...

Once we collected them for grandpa to eat.

I thought they only came out every 17 years or something.