Sounds of Summer

cicada2As we drove to the beach this afternoon, we passed out of the agriculturally blasted plains to the slightly less blasted Banks Peninsula. As we drew closer to the remnants of bush on the Peninsula, the decibel level outside the car rose dramatically. The culprit was the chorus cicada/kihikihi wawā (Amphipsalta zealandica). Wawā means roaring like heavy rain, and it’s an excellent description of the noise the males make en masse from every bush and tree. In some places, they are so loud, that conversation is completely impossible.

But their chorus is summer here. The season hasn’t really arrived until the cicadas start calling in January. As my husband noted today as we drove, “It just feels warmer when the cicadas are calling.”

And for as long as they call, we will believe it is summer. For as long as they call, we will feel we are on vacation, and the work week is simply a temporary interruption between trips to the beach.

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