Cicada Songs

There's a din, here on the farm, that grows louder as the temperature rises.  It is a high-pitched, other-worldly humming sound.  It starts in deep in the woods and progresses into "the holler"- the low-lying area of woods between the house and the barn - home of the Dragon Tree Trail.  As the day progresses, the sound gets closer and closer, eventually reaching the orchard.  Over the overwhelming high-pitched ebb and flow of song you occasionally hear the scritchety sound of one lone cicada.   It must be a lullaby for the pigs, because the songs lulled them right to sleep!


This humming is the soundtrack of daily life around here.  It's actually quite lovely - and different from the typical August sound of cicadas in the trees.  Perhaps the difference lies in the sheer magnitude of numbers of cicadas.  Yes, that little spot on MaryAnn's abdomen is a cicada!


On the ground at the base of each tree in the orchard lies the discarded carcasses of nymphs who have already emerged.  There are just as many still hanging in the trees above as well.   It seems to me that the Brood X epicenter just might be here in the orchard.


In case you have none of these creatures near you, I have recorded the sound for you:


Everywhere I look, there are cicadas in various stages of emergence.  

Some, just beginning to break through their hard nymph exoskeleton...

others, almost erupted....

while still others sit exhausted, their metamorphoses complete, waiting, to get used to their new bodies.  In a few hours they change from this yellowish white to a blueish-black color.

Once recovered, they fly high into the treetops and males begin their mating song... the rest of their existence dedicated to procreation.  After four to six weeks, the female will have laid several hundred eggs in slits on the branches of trees.   Having assured the continuation of their brood, the adults die off.  Meanwhile, the hatchlings begin their descent to the ground and borrow into the ground where they will develop into nymphs and await their eventual emergence... seventeen years later.

This is a wonderful year for our free-ranging birds.  Now that they are free to roam the farm, they have access to all of the nutritious developing cicadas that are within their reach.  It will be an abundant  summer for small mammals, birds, and reptiles.

I have heard that these insects taste much like crabs.  Although I am in no hurry to try them, myself.


As I mentioned, above, the ducks and chickens are once again happily patrolling the farm for tasty insects.


  After weeks of quarantine, they happily leave their yards each morning and venture out for days filled with adventure.

Mornings are still cool here and heavy dew covers the grass.  

The ground remains moist from the past weekend's showers.  There's a possibility of storms later this week, so perhaps I can get by without watering.

As I mentioned before, anything that is not in use is being planted.  This wheelbarrow is now full of cherry-red profusion zinnias and white sage.  By midsummer it should be beautiful.


It's amazing how quickly the garden grows after a good soaking rain and a couple days of sunshine.  I pulled the first of the purple radishes yesterday....

and the sugar peas will soon be bearing pea pods.

The goat yard is looking quite empty these days. 

 We sold all of our extra goat houses on FB Marketplace. The girls still have their own houses located under the shelter of the shed.

Sally seems content in her new home.

  I stop to say hello, and she wanders over to the fence for some scratching...

then promptly head-butts the fence as a warning to Sam who is jealous of the attention being paid to someone other than himself.

On the other side of Sam is Old Tom... happy to be out of quarantine.

And lastly, here is your fresh peony bouquet of the day -




planted two summers ago and finally mature enough to have beautiful blossoms.

I hope to get a video garden tour finished in the next couple of weeks.  I'll definitely need to revisit it during the cold winter months!


Comments

You must be elated having all the beauty of nature around you. Of course there is a lot of hard work involved I know but the outcome is worth it all. One can tell how much you love your farm and all its inhabitants.
Do the cicadas do damage to anything?
The peonies are gorgeous! I imagine in summer the farm will still be awash with color.
Truly enjoy visiting first thing in the morning! Really gets my day off to a great start!
Bee Haven Bev said…
Thank you… and luckily, the cicadas do no real harm.
Bee Haven Bev said…
Thank you… and luckily, the cicadas do no real harm.
colleen said…
BHA looks complete with the chickens, ducks and Tom roaming around. I love your new planter..use it up wear it out make it do or do without. Doug was telling me that people eat Cicadas..no thanks, I'll pass. xoxo
Marsha said…
Wow that is a lot of cicadas!!!
Chris T said…
What is the large building behind the runner ducks, I don't recall seeing it before?

I adore peonies and yours are so beautiful, they would make great subjects for your watercolours.
Jody in Georgia said…
I love starting my day with your blog! I must confess, though, the cicadas are not my favorites! The peonies are gorgeous and bring me memories of those in front of Momma's house when I was a teen in Minnesota. Thanks again for starting my day off with a smile!
Wanda Devers said…
No cicadas here in TN yet! The last big invasion I remember was when my son was a toddler and he's 35 now.

Your peonies are beautiful. Mine have come & gone but we enjoyed them so much.

I'm glad Tom & friends can get outside for some spring time fun.
jaz@octoberfarm said…
what a smorgasboard out there! it's about to get hotter than all get out here again.
This N That said…
OMG..You must have them all..I saw two on my garage door this AM..SO far we have been lucky..Do the dogs eat them??
Glad that the ducks and chickens are free again..I'll bet they are enjoying themselves..
Sad to see the goat yrad empty..
Beautiful Peonies..My grandmother used to grow them to sell..There were two fields of them..Gorgeous..
Hope we get some of that rain..gonna get hot!!
Dee J. Hartman said…
Cicada sounds from all around
I heard them at your farm!
The rushing, gushing water sound
to me, full of alarm!
I never heard such noisy bugs,
So thank you for your"share"
Of the loudest sound Cicadas make
It makes me so aware
Of the number of these guys on trees
I'm sure there are so many
To have a bracket with so much racket
Certainly, there's plenty!

leslye said…
Thank you for sharing the amazing sound of the cicadas and the peonies are so beautiful.
Marcia LaRue said…
I kind of like the sound of the cicadas but, then again, I don't have to listen to them 24/7.
Your peonies are simply stunning!
Another beautiful visit to BHA.
THE BEARDED ONE said…
SO VERY THANKFUL THAT WE ARE NOT HAVING CICADAS AND SURE HOPE WE DO NOT... YOU ARE SUCHA BRILLANT AND TALENTED LADY...THESE POST ARE SURE A1 FIRST CLASS AND SO VERY ENJOYABLE...SUCH A BEAUTIFUL FARM YOU AND HUBBS HAVE...SMAZING !



EDGAR C. BEARD
Thanks for capturing the cicada sounds.....amazing. Oh how I love the look of everything growing so well in your gardens and all around the farm. I LOVE peonys too. Great pictures today! Thank You.
Lynne said…
I found the cicada sound like a din/hum and not as horrible as I imagined!
Amazed at the pile of shedded whatever you call it . .. skin/shell.
Cicada is certainly capturing more news these days than the politicians!

Oh my . . . the peonies! Beautiful . . .
I have buds but no “pops” yet . . .
My second year, and more buds than last, so I am encouraged.