Communion Of Dreams


Billions and billions.
May 29, 2011, 8:27 am
Filed under: Astronomy, Music, Science

No, not this:

But rather, this:

They’re starting to crawl up your trees now, and in the coming weeks, there are going to be billions — that’s with a “b” — of cicadas across the Midwest, mating and laying eggs on limbs.

And when the choir of 13-year cycle cicadas starts singing its mating song in unison, it might seem a little annoying, Bruce Barrett said. Rather than covering your ears and running for cover, though, Barrett encourages Columbians to sit back and enjoy the show.

“It’s one of those magical moments in nature,” said Barrett, a professor of entomology at the University of Missouri. “If you stop and think about it, this is really neat. Nature is elegant and sophisticatedly beautiful.”

* * * * * * *

It’s still early, but they’re already starting to sing. As I was working in the garden yesterday, you’d hear it start, building from the background buzz. Not the full chorus yet, just some warming up.

It’s interesting – the background buzz is very much like the slight ringing I have from tinnitus. So it is easy to ignore. But when they start to sing in unison, I notice.

* * * * * * *

The dog notices, too. He’s been distracted on our morning walks through the neighborhood. Not so much by the sound, as by the movement. For him, the cicadas are snacks-on-the-wing.

* * * * * * *

He’s not alone:

Just as Bubba Blue told Forrest Gump about shrimp in the classic movie, you can do just about anything with cicadas in the kitchen. You can boil ’em, fry ’em, bake ’em, saute ’em. You can make cicada pie, cicada wontons or cicada soup. Sprinkle some minced cicadas into your cereal. Or break out the blender, and you can quickly create a cicada smoothie or a fresh batch of cicada salsa.

Jenna Jadin of the University of Maryland Cicadamaniacs offers a Cicadalicious recipe for Emergence Cookies. “These should look like cicadas emerging out of a little pile of chunky mud!”

How about cicada-portobella quiche? Or “El Chirper” tacos?

* * * * * * *

With apologies to His Majesty:

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for stars thou art, and unto stars shalt thou return.

Pizza, anyone?

Jim Downey

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Ugh! Too much! I was seriously contemplating taking the shop vac out in the yard and sucking some of them up before they lay eggs. There are just TOO MANY of them!!!! I wonder, if I suck up a couple hundred, will that make a difference in the yard 13 years from now?

Comment by Sarah CD

Heh – I somehow think that you won’t make much of a dent in the population there – and then you’d still have to empty out the shop vac. 🙂

Comment by James Downey




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