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Monday, May 16, 2011

The Song of the Cicadas

Nature is amazing.

Right now I'm sitting on my back porch, working on my laptop, listening to an amazing concert being conducted by an army of cicadas. They sound like UFOs, which is a funny thing to say since I've never actually seen or heard a UFO. But that really is what they sound like. Don't believe me? Watch..errr, this video:

These are the 13-year cicadas, meaning that the last time this particular variety was out and about was way back in 1998. Apparently, this year my small town of Holly Springs seems to be ground zero for cicadas here in North Carolina. The news reports say that there can be a million of these insects in an acre. A million.

Most of my neighbors are sick of the sound, and they can't wait for it finish. I know the power company is ready for this to end. They keep getting calls from homeowners asking if the sound is a nuclear meltdown alert.

And me?

I love this. The sound is so different and so bizarre that I don't see how anyone could not appreciate it.

It won't last much longer, though. In a week or two, the noise will die down, and then it won't be heard for another 13 years. The fact that there are only so many more times in my life that I'll hear these sounds reminds me of A.E. Housman's "Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now..."

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

So don't mind me. I'm going to keep sitting out here, day after day after day, until the entire cicada concert is finished.

Life is good!  :-)