January 13th – Knock Knock

Brown Cicada

Each summer, specifically around the New Year, my garden reveals several tiny secrets as cicada nymphs make their way to the open air, shed their shells and find a friend.

But the numbers this year appear to be dwindling. This could be for a number of reasons, most of them climactic. However I also suspect the stocks below ground are all but gone. Our house was built a little over 15 years ago, around the time many of these insects would have headed below the soil in the first instance. 

I’ve been trawling the garden with my torch for the last few nights for signs of new cicada life and had all but given up, when I heard the characteristic “knocking” of a cicada in flight – against my window. I went outside to find this youngster, which I’m advised may be a general Black Prince.

The funniest thing about cicadas are that they are terrible flyers. They have these great big bodies, and wafer-thin wings to support them. Crashing into their target is usually the method they employ. 

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