Sunday, May 12, 2024

The Song of the Cicadas

“Someone shot the cat lady.” he says, standing in the doorway.

“Okay.” I say.  I assume it has to be about the tv.  I wait.  He leaves.  I plop a tea bag and soup spoon into my cat cup of hot water, and scurry back into the cat’s den… my writing room.

As I get cozy with the three pillows piled onto my armchair, cat Austin makes his entrance as if he is telepathic.  Without asking, he curls tightly into the triangular area of my left bent arm, making air biscuits.

It's a surreal feeling that my life isn't any more important than I think it is; but apparently, I think I'm extremely important, as I put up quite a struggle to keep myself from sinking underground and becoming fertilizer for my garden.

After one malady is under control, another one forces itself upon me.  There was a time when I told my family I wanted to live to be 100 years old.  What a dreamer I was.  A talk with my sister last night sunk me to rock bottom, as she described the last years of mom's life with her.  

Mom's leg problems are my leg problems.  So much for the surreal.  I would have loved to have dreamed a bit longer... but, it is what it is.  Is it better to not know?  Oh, to dabble one's toes in hell while others fly up, up, up into the heavens... who knows.


They're a hot topic at the moment, as each group crescendos in unison, then decrescendos half way, then back up again, then down again to almost nothing.  Of course, they never stay at nothing if its a mildly cool sunny day.  They have little time to mate before death claims them back into earths fold where they were once nurtured.

The emergence of this brood XIX, 13 years in the ground creatures, cannot be missed no matter how hard one may try.  Yesterday I stood on the deck and thought how beautiful they sound in the distance.  Today the noise is mind boggling as they fill the trees in my own yard.

This cicada does not have good looks going for it with those freaky orange eyes and legs that seem to repel people who are not one with nature, but their importance should not be dimished by this.  They are nature's offering to aerate the soil, feed the species, and fertilizer the earth.

Their wings are sublime beauty, as if delicate stained glass, and a bit of sadness will linger as the last ones drop back to the earth, and disappear for years to come.  It's life, isn't it... it gives and it takes back.

Just another reminder of our loss of Dustin.  We never realized how many cicadas of this brood fed our dog.  We thought not too many, as I spied him catch a few as they flew by or landed on the patio; but apparently tons upon tons, as we have to sweep the dead ones up daily, when ten years ago, we rarely had to bother.

A short post today, as life's been a bitch lately.  Not too many photos, as Vic must hold onto me when I'm out in the garden photographing.  On the patio, I'm much better with my balance.  The following poem is more about the summer cicadas, but we get those also.

     by Roderic Quinn
          an Australian Poet

Yesterday there came to me
from a green and graceful tree
as I loitered listlessly
nothing doing, nothing caring,
light and warmth and fragrance sharing
with the butterfly and the bee,
while the sapling-tops a-glisten
danced and trembled, wild and willing
such a sudden sylvan shrilling
that I could not choose but listen.

Green cicadas, black cicadas,
happy in the gracious weather,
floury-baker, double-drummer,
all as one and all together,
how they voiced the golden summer.

Stealing back there came to me
as I loitered listlessly
'neath the green and graceful tree,
nothing doing, nothing caring,
boyhood moments spent in sharing
with the butterfly and the bee
youth and freedom, warmth and glamour
while cicadas round me shrilling,
set the sleepy noontide thrilling
with their keen insistent clamour.

Green cicadas, black cicadas,
happy in the gracious weather
Floury-bakers, double-drummers
all as one and all together --
how they voice the bygone summers!

This seeds everywhere, but it does not overpower any other plant.
People look at it as a problematic weed, but I just see beauty.
It dies down and eventually disappears after blooming .

Baptisia Purple Smoke
I ignore them and they do fine.
Early winter when the stems detach at ground level,
the wind will blow them across the yard all intertwined,
much like a tumbleweed.

Lyre Leaf Sage

Maianthemum racemosum, False Solomon's Seal
Flowers turn into pretty berries for wildlife

I no longer have my garden notes, 
but I think this is 'Cardinal de Richelieu' a gallica rose.
We dug it up years ago, but a sucker survived
and is slowly expanding.  It seems to blend in well with the grasses.
Few thorns, but it's in an area I cannot reach.

A Jumping Spider

Clematis Venosa Violacea

On a ride from the doctor's office

In the weed patch

Cicadas on Pachysandra procumbens, Allegheny Spurge

Cidada emerging from it's hard exoskeleton,
so it's wings will unfold and dry out.
After that it will drop to the ground 
and head for the nearest tree or shrub.
Some will have problems with their molting and die. 


Clematis viorna, I think
A leather Leaf type of native clematis.

I don't feel well enough to try and identify these muchrooms.
I always enjoy seeing them.

What a marvel!

My babies - Austin and Charlotte

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  1. ...I was in the nursery business for 50 year and bought material form Tennessee and North Carolina and saw first hand how cicada damage can look.

    1. Living here, I just prune the dieback and move on. The yearly cicadas are much fewer, so I don't deal with damage that is noticable.

  2. Hello,
    I thought I was hearing the cicadas recently, they are loud.
    Wonderful photos of the flowers and plants, my favorites are the rose and the clematis. Your furbabies are adorable. Take care, enjoy your day and have a great week!

  3. They say that "old age is not for sissies" and they're right. It's hard not to dread the future and its hardships. But for our own sanity, we must try to live in the Here and Now and enjoy what we can. Hugs to you, my friend.

  4. We have the odd cicadas around. This year will be interesting for some.
    Lovely garden photos!

  5. I am so sorry you are feeling unwell. Out little furry friends tend to know when we need comforting. They look so sweet and cuddly. Take care.


  6. Lovely photos to go with the narration.

  7. I'm sorry life has been tough these days and I hope it eases up. It certainly hasn't affected the quality of your photography. As always, they are lovely. I'm told we won't have much of a cicada problem this year in Michigan. I'm not sure how "they" know that but I hope it's the case! Hang in there -- may things improve soon.

  8. Hi Yvonne, There's something comforting about the simple companionship of a pet, like Austin, who seems to know exactly when you need a little extra warmth and affection. Those quiet, shared moments can be a powerful reminder of the small joys in life. It's completely natural to feel a mix of emotions when facing ongoing health challenges. The weight of our struggles can often make us feel isolated and question our significance. Yet, it's evident from your writing that you have a deep inner strength. I understand how reflecting on your mother's experiences and seeing parallels with your own can be daunting. It's tough to balance the knowledge of potential future hardships with the desire to remain hopeful and dream of better days. Sometimes, it's hard to know whether having that knowledge is a blessing or a curse. You matter, and your experiences and reflections have an impact. Here's to finding peace in the present moments and strength in the face of life's challenges. Thanks for sharing your blog. Take care of yourself. John

  9. The Cicadas are using their mating calls to no end, the sound is deafening in our neck of the woods.
    I'm always amazed at your beautiful flowers, lots and lots of color.
    Finding peace in today's society is quite the challenge, but hang in there.

  10. Hello
    The cicadas care creepy looking, I like the poem.
    Your garden images are lovely, beautiful flowers.
    Your furbabies are adorable!
    Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a great day and happy weekend.

  11. I have to say that while I lived in North Carolina for 20 years, while I could hear the cicadas, I never saw one. I still remember the deafening sound. Also, your blooms are gorgeous, especially the gallica rose with those colors.

  12. The clematis is such a pretty flower. I hope you feel better in the week to come. Take care and take it easy. Hugs!

  13. Wishing you well as you deal with some tough times. The cicada song description is beautiful. The photos of your flowers are lovely!

  14. Austin and Charlotte ~ 'steal the show' ~ they are beautiful ~ so precious and you are so creative ~ awesome writings and nature photography ~ Wow!

    Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  15. The flower that looks like a fairy's bell is the perfect capture. Wishing you good health as you explore the wonders in your garden. :)

  16. These are such beautiful photos.
    I'm sorry you're not feeling well, I hope it gets better soon.
    Greetings Irma

  17. i am not a big fan of spiders and bugs BUT your pictures are very well taken. the clematis is such a beautiful flower and i love this one's shade of purple. i am wishing you peace, rest and wellness for this upcoming time. i do hope you feel better!!

  18. Your photographs are stunning as always, Yvonne.
    The clematis and gallica rose are particularly striking, and your furbabies are adorable.
    Pets have a way of comforting us in ways that words cannot, and it's clear that yours provide you with much-needed companionship and love.
    I'm sorry to hear that you've been going through a tough time health-wise.
    I hope things start looking up for you soon.

  19. First, thank you for your nice comment, dear Yvonne. I'm a Senior too and agree with your Statement about the age.
    You made wonderful photos of the nature around your home. And it's very interesting to about the zicades. We could'n imagine what this is, how much comes over the Landschaft.

    Best wishes and hugs by Heidrun

  20. I really like this association of cicada life with human life - the differences are in the naming of the "process" of life and time (although there are people who live, perhaps, as much as a cicada)
    This post is somehow sad, but I "read" your optimism between the lines; I smile at the photos - especially the ones with your children. Hugs.💗


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