Monday, June 23, 2008
When I was a child, growing up in Bluffton, SC., the pine trees would be littered with their skins. I remember picking them off and holding them, perfect little amber exoskeletons left behind. Oh, my, what a cool insect, I'd think. How wonderful it would be to shed my own skin like that, become something new and different, become something winged and noisy. Something beautiful.
The 17-year magicicadas(even their name is somehow alchemic and wizardish) have fallen silent. They started up a few days after the guineas were set free and the guineas immediately disappeared--gone looking for them and their tastiness. They sound like something that has been left on in the house. Something you can't find. Something not natural.
You can eat them, you know. But even the collection of them is a mystical ritual--you go out at midnight and collect them as they emerge from the ground, all white and tender.
They call them locusts here and aren't nearly as in love with them as I am.
I wanted to share with you the photography of Roy Troutman, who takes amazing photographs of the magicicadas. You can find his work on Cicada Mania, along with all sorts of Cicada information.
It's so quiet now.
Here's a small sample of Troutman's work. I tried to get photos, but they flew into my hair and made me scream like a girl.