Song of the Cicada

The love-song of the male cicada is certainly one of the quintessential sounds of summer, and one I can remember from as far back as I can remember things – from summer days on my grandparent’s farm in New Bremen, to mountain biking in the woods in Northern Virginia, to just about any memory I have of summer outings in Texas.

Yesterday morning, I was standing on the front porch, when a bit of movement caught my eye. A cicada nymph was kicking around on its back. It had just fallen off the post it had climbed in order to molt.


I helped it onto a small twig and planted that in the dirt nearby. Close by, there was a hole in the ground the diameter of a wooden pencil. It was then I connected the dots to something I’d been seeing… those small holes in the yard were everywhere… they had to be the place cicada nymphs were emerging.

Within the hour, my cicada friend had emerged from its shell, looking like something from a cheezy vampire flick, wings shriveled and useless. Another hour, and it had shimmering, sleek wings ready for lift-off. Soon after, it was gone, off to join the summer chorus.


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