Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Little Singers in the Trees

An annual cicada's song is the quintessential music of August, a sonorous vocal offering from jeweled beings who emerge from the ground, shed their nymph skins, climb high into the light-filled trees and sing for a handful of days before expiring and returning to earth. It's a joyful and ecstatic element in the slow irrevocable turning of one season into another.

I often find abandoned cicada shells on poplar trees in the Two Hundred Acre Wood but always feel fortunate when I encounter a newborn in all its pastel green splendor, sometimes still clinging to its discarded self. Imagos (adults) darken as their new exoskeletons harden and wings expand, but there is a fair bit of variation in coloration. Some will retain greenish wings all the days of their lives.

Only male cicadas sing but oh how they do sing, vibrating the complex abdominal membranes called tymbals over and over again to generate a raspy tune that will attract a mate. I have a lot to learn about identifying cicadas, but this one may be the bigger Linne's cicada rather than a Dog-day cicada. Whichever it was, my little visitor was absolutely gorgeous.

Call it "cicada mind" and cherish the notion. Our task is one of cultivating just this kind of patience, acceptance, rapt attention and unfettered Zen sensibility, of embracing our allotted days fully and singing wherever we happen to be, then dissolving effortlessly back into the fabric of the world when the time comes.

4 comments:

Barbara R. said...

May I use your photo of you and camera with overlay of trees (profile pic?) as part of a post about photos of photographers with cameras...a prompt from Sepia Saturday for this week? I'll give a link to your blog, and your name if you wish. I've gathered a couple of other bloggers who do photos holding cameras...I'm asking them as well. Due to post on Fri. morning.

kerrdelune said...

Barb, of course you may - do you need a larger version?

Barbara R. said...

Thanks, the one you post is big enough!

World of Animals, Inc said...

I love how detailed and vibrant this picture is. It is incredible how close you were able to get to this fly. Thanks for the share, have a fantastic rest of your day. Keep up the posts.
World of Animals