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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Cicada The Sound of Summer

Listen to the sound of the cicadas

The hills are alive with the sound of semi

In the pauses between the rains, the forest and mountains around my home come alive with the sound of Cicadas (semi). For the Japanese, the sound of the cicadas signifies the arrival of high summer.

The young cicada nymphs have been underground for anywhere from 2 to 17 years, and once they emerge they climb the nearest tree and shed their exoskeleton. The males then begin the calling for a mate.

The discarded exoskeletons can easily be found littering the forest floor, and in the erroneous belief that they were corpses, has led to an association of the cicada with death, as in this haiku by Shuho from 1767.

Cicada shell
little did I know
it was my life.

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