Court of Cicada

Date Posted:
May 05, 2021, 03:34 AM

Cicadas rule the soundscape in this stretch of upper campus. Click, click, click. It's the sound of the adult male cicada courting the female. Alex Jones gave me a great overview of their life cycle:

The cicada nymphs live underground for usually 2 years, sucking sap from roots of redwood trees and then in the spring they crawl out of their exoskeletons and climb up to the tree's foliage. The females make a little slit in the branches where they lays eggs, the adults die, the eggs hatch out and the nymphs drop to the ground to burrow down and suck sap for a couple years.

At night once the cicadas went silent, the trees really made their presence felt. While engaging in the "perspective listening" prompt (see below), I began to feel haunted by the trees. Less of a scary kind of haunting and more like a 'being inhabited' kind of haunting. It was unsettling, peaceful, and magical all at once.

*PERSPECTIVE LISTENING - Begin by listening to all sounds. Your ears are an open book. After several minutes begin to focus attention on a sound that stands out to you. Then begin to listen from the perspective of where the sound source is coming from. If you're hearing a bird, listen as the bird - if you're hearing the hum of an AC unit, listening from the perspective of the AC unit). There is an element of speculation and imagination involved here. Write down any observations, insights, or challenges.