Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cicadas (January 22-23, 2010)

These pictures were taken at Old Macdonald's Farm, near the Abel Tasman National Park in Marahau, South Island, New Zealand. I was thinking of this place the other day, because I was listening to a music track that had faint cicada sounds in the background, and the cicadas in this particular place were incredibly loud.

I really miss the cicadas' collective song, how it always seemed to thicken the air like humidity, as if it were a part of the heat itself--one of the elements of summer. I took the video below so I would be able to remind myself of it later, at a distance.

I remember as a child I'd lie on the front lawn, almost feeling the pulse of their sound, like a current that moves through flesh.

And if you listened for a while, you could hear patterns picking themselves out in the massive thrum--every now and then the little waves of sound would fall into sync, one wave amplifying another, you could hear them merging into each other and then, as part of the same pattern they became syncopated again, sawing new tense patterns, moving between conflict and concert, a "movement" itself formed entirely from impressions that emerged from the grand, cumulative throb of their song.

They must have been roosting on the trees here by the thousand. Walking along the dirt driveway formed into a tree-lined avenue, we were enveloped by the sound of this mass of tiny animals that remained almost completely unseen.

Above: Another insect we found nearby--unidentified as yet (and as far as I know--not a cicada), but interesting-looking!

Update: the kind folks at "What's That Bug" identified this as a (female) Huhu Beetle!

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