The Bugs of August

Summer is beginning to wind down. The initial School’s Out mania has surrendered to the dog days, and Labor Day will be here before you know it. Back to School ads for supplies and clothes fill our airwaves and mailboxes. Our local Big Lots has gotten so bad, I think the back to school stuff was stocked before Memorial Day weekend! The kids weren’t even out of school yet! It won’t belong before winter coats start showing up in the stores. Although summer is beginning its annual descent into fall, it still has a ways to go.

By early August In Southeast Michigan, the annual audio invasion of the cicadas has begun. Their life span is anywhere from one to seventeen years. While most of that time is spent underground, once they hatch, they live on the surface for five or six short weeks before they lay eggs and die. That life-cycle can be considerably shortened if they run afoul of one of our feathered assassins. These are huge bugs and would make an excellent afternoon snack for one of our neighborhood hawks. Even though they’re only on this earth for a relatively short time after hatching, they certainly make their presence known. It’s one of the signature sounds of summer.

I remember as a kid, summer hadn’t really arrived until the cacophony of cicadas filled the air. Here in Michigan, summer arrives around Memorial Day and usually peters out by mid-September. Therefore, we try to take advantage of the warm days we do have. Since my backyard shade was cut down by my idiot neighbor a few years back, it’s become unbearable in the afternoon sun. However, I have recently hit upon a solution. Once the sun dips below the roof line, I’m going to set up a lawn chair in the driveway facing east. That way I can enjoy the cool down of the day, and the serenade of the cicadas. Sounds like a plan to me. So, enjoy the rest of your summer. But, remember the House Stark motto, “Winter is Coming”.

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