Saturday, July 12, 2008

11th Avenue Cicada


It's good to be back in Brooklyn. We drove past the carnival of the Giglio in Williamsburg last night. From the BQE it looked stunning, the streets deep with lights.

I'm home just in time since today ends Brooklynometry's first year. The year started with a dream about spiders, and it ends with this cicada that I found on 11th Avenue. In between there were some ants, ladybugs, fireflies, a bunch of flowers, some Brooklyn and other places.

I think the cicadas spend most of their lives underground, nestled in the sweet, dark earth for 13 or 17 years. No wonder they are such magical bugs, faceted like the garnets and tourmalines I've been searching for over the last two weeks. They are the insect world's emeralds, now falling from the skies.

ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch!

5 comments:

Thew said...

This is an annual cicada; they have a life cycle that reaches up to five years, but because generations overlap, there are some every summer.

The periodic ones (17 & 13 year cycles) have bright red eyes & black bodies marked with orange. This is 17-year Brood XIV's emergence year, but Brooklyn isn't a good place for them, alas; too much urbanism, not enough hardwood forest.

amarilla said...

thanks thew! i'm glad i'll be seeing these more often than i thought. please continue to keep me well informed, it's appreciated.

Dope On The Slope said...

Another name for these annual cicadas is the "Dog Day Cicada." Which always reminds me of "Dog Day Afternoon," the ultimate Brooklyn movie.

amarilla said...

Very intersting! I had no idea. I wonder how/when this "dog day" idiom began.

Dope On The Slope said...

I think that "dog days" reference the period when Sirius, the so-called "dog star", is in the skies.

However, growing up in the South I always thought it was because the weather was so hot that the dogs didn't do anything but lay on the porch -- which usually meant lots of attention and free scraps.