Beings who once walked the Earth support new life as summer's serenade begins to take shape upon stones that memorialize the past.
Hunchbacked in nymphal form, light brown crawlers move skyward then cling by toes at tips of stout legs, and new life emerges as their backs split open.
Bodies colored like watermelon tourmaline showcase segmented abdomens and three pairs of legs. While translucent wings slowly unfurl, First steps are taken into freedom beyond.
Leaving behind sheds of its underground life, wings grow longer minute by minute. Exquisite beauty at this teneral stage forces awe to reach a crescendo.
Venation demarks cloudy glass windows gilded in emerald and bronze. I stare in awe, and then gaze about, for others have also crawled up from the ground.
Young Elden's grave stone provides the next sighting of a discarded exuvia with an adult form above. For several hours this insect paused as blood pumped and its body transformed.
Contrasted against the pastel colors it once donned, vivid camouflage will serve it well in tree tops. Golden veins upon the elder's wings fill my soul with admiration.
I'm forced to stand guard and dote for at last the ascension begins. I suddenly realize all who enter here must rise toward the heavens or at least the tree tops.
One muscular foot in front, five others follow, all part of instinct beyond my understanding. No other is there to offer guidance or to mimic, it's all pure instilled knowledge from beginning to end.
With the summit now a certainty, I take time to quickly note intricate patterns. Upon the upper thorax I see the face of an owl bedecked in bow tie.
It is not for me to know when tented wings will spread into flight and off he'll go. Without notice, a quick flap, and he disappears into tree tops thither.
A few more hours must pass before the younger insect can fly off likewise. New adventures await filled with raspy love songs meant to continue the cycle of life.
On this summer day, hollow cast(ket)s left behind provide a memory of vulnerable forms. From soft pastel bodies to wide-faced creatures with bulging eyes, I get to celebrate cemetery cicadas.
Default: This is a work in progress. I’ve written a bunch of drafts, but it’s not quite there yet, so dear reader, you may see a revision at a later date.
11 thoughts on “Celebrating Cemetery Cicadas”
I do not how you do it! Your timing and ability to see what others don’t is truly a gift. As I have said before, you are an inspiration.
Marygrace, I went to look for them because I found one emerging there last year. My thought was that I’d spend a quick five minutes. You know me–that turned into over 2 hours of pacing back and forth between the two and actually noticing other insects and, of course, checking for other cicadas. The season is just beginning so I suspect I’ll find another five minutes to stop by. Hope you and Peter and yours are well.
Thank you for the spectacular photos. I never knew that they had pale aqua legs upon emerging.
I live in NY State , and for awhile now, have been enjoying your rambles.
I know–aren’t they incredibly beautiful? Thanks so much for rambling along with me, Jen. Upstate NY?
Yes. North of Albany, just outside of Saratoga Springs.
As lovely as western Maine.
Did you write this “poetry”? Amazing!!!
“I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.” Bob Dylan
Sent from my iPad
I did. Not really poetry. I wish it was. Needs work.
“Cemetery Cicadas” is really lovely, Thank you for this treat.
Thanks so much, Joan. A tweaked version may come out soon.
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