I warned you they were coming here. At first light, I stepped outside to breathe exceptionally humid (for late April) air — the air mass that helped create the devastating tornadoes in states to my west and south yesterday and overnight. The air feels wrong this morning — too thick, the winds are too strong, the red lines on weather radar — too terrifying. So, of course, this is the morning that the Periodical Cicadas — Brood XIX — are beginning to emerge.
A half dozen of them — sluggish as they tried to dry new wings in damp air — were perched on the railings of our back deck — and on the floor — and on the side of the house. My pictures are less than ideal because it was still fairly dark.
One of the new arrivals even left the shed skin of its former self attached to a rail post here:
Here’s a shot of two of them. One is on the wall of the house, the other sits atop the deck railing:
The hum I described in my earlier post has not yet begun. They are still pulling themselves out of damp ground, struggling out of their larval skins, and drying their new wings.
Later today, the sun will return, and the humidity will drop as the unstable air mass that wrought so much destruction is replaced with spring-sweetened air once more.
It’s almost as if the cicadas have returned now to keep me feeling unsettled, to remind me how quickly the natural world can transform itself. As I stand outside over the next weeks, outnumbered by thousands of humming insects, I will be unable to forget how very small I am. And that’s probably a good thing.