Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Semi Awake

The Cicada is known as a Semi in Japan. So I'm told the Japanese Cicada spends up to 7 years (heresay) in a larval form underground awaiting just the right summer. They then emerge and shed their larval skins, transforming into their adult stage.

The park opposite my appartment is one of the reasons we chose this place. It is fairly big for a Japanese city park, has many trees and unusualy enough a wide expance of grass that you can sit on.

Now each tree is full of Cicada. Each morning we wake (are awoken to?) a screeching and scratching that would have 100,000 crickets packing away their violins in disgust. They have a very short lifespan in their adult form. Perhaps this is the reason for their urgency.

In the afternoon or early evening it is wise not to remark on how quiet they have become since that morning since they react by turning up the volume.

This morning, as every morning, they are so noisy that it is almost impossible to have a conversation from the veranda with someone sitting in the adjoining room.

3 comments:

Damon said...

Aren`t they great. I think the sound is perfect for summer, electric. Laurie Lee said their sound was "nailing the heat to the ground"
Best description I`ve ever heard.
damon

Nick Benwell said...

Waking up mornings have become an art recently. I have not heard a Japanese noise band yet that could compete with them. They refuse to become background noise. They are a noise that should be background but by nature aren't.

Damon said...

I love when they get rythmn though, the curiously high-pitch pulse of thousands of the little buggers flirting in unison. It`s enough to knock your senses out of skew. Could be used as a tool to hypnosis or some other mood altering agenda. I agree it is hard to ignore, but there is no other sound quite like it for the brutal heat. The chirp of crickets seems cooling by comparrison; for a sound that say HEAT the electric stammer of the cicadas is perfect like being spit roasted on a cactus over the crater of a volcano while being stung by a swarm of killer hornets with titanium stings and an over keen interest in amateur accupucturism.
I too have a big park nearby!
Damon