Sunday, July 5, 2009

Austin, a Pictorial

Behold! The cicada. While these little monsters are not unique to Austin, they hold a special place in my heart, for every summer, their deafening buzz reminds me that Texas' heat is a hell fit for biblical plague. I remember in the summer of '87, there were so many of them that casual outdoor conversation was impossible, and all fun was taken out of nightly cops-beat-down-the-robbers games as our toy guns were drowned out by the insects.
This empty husk is what cicadas look like about the first decade of their lives. They emerge from your front lawn, crap out, or molt, when the devil requires pestilence, then apparently turn into pure sound because they're not seen very often (hence no picture, but imagine a mutant horsefly, hulked out by gamma radiation).

These fore claws are as sharp as they appear, and since the slits on their backs are a natural fit for boys' fingers, they are nature's weapon against irritating sisters. That and pica beans. I'll describe those one day too.


Chrissy said...

Did you actually torture your sisters with those? GROSS! I think my friend told me they get them in Kentucky, we don't get them up north. Thank goodness.

Nice video. Not quite the lull of a cricket.

Awesome Sara said...

ewwww!!! i hate bugs!!! ewww!!! the vid wasnt playing for me, bummer.

f8hasit said...

Those are just really, really gross.
Neat sound....BEFORE I knew where it came from. Thanks for ruining the sound of summer for me.

C. Andres Alderete said...

I did torture my sisters with them, Chrissy, but it only made them stronger.

Awesome, the only bugs I hate are junebugs. They're too clingy. *shiver*

They're actually not that gross, Nancy. They don't bite or sting for buzz around horse shit. They're just loud. I even rescued one from a stinging wasp once.

Frankie Anon said...

I remember camping out once in Texas and I couldn't sleep for the buzzing. I'm listening to them now in the Midwest (where we also have that marvel of the insect world, the firefly.) There aren't as loud as the ones I remember from Texas though. It's fascinating how they all ebb and flow in waves like schools of startled fish darting back and forth.

C. Andres Alderete said...

Yeah, we have fireflies here too. As a kid, I accidently killed many of them in my quest to understand their glow.
That's a nice description of the cicadas. Very fitting.

AngelaDean said...

Pica beans and cicadas are some of my favorite childhood memories too! my blog header pays homage to the mighty 'cheechada'.

C. Andres Alderete said...

There you go, people. She even sounded it out phonetically as we chicos do.

jb said...

Ok WTF.....are those freaking bugsssss. I'm imagining 1000 of those on one tree the sound must be so loud. Yuck i hate bugs.


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