Cigale, Cicada

Photo by via wikipedia
Snodgrass Magicicada septendecim
Snodgrass Magicicada septendecim

If we were in the South of France, there'd be a parade. The noisy spokes insect of provençal culture (thanks to the poet Frédéric Mistral), is off schedule and emerging en masse in the DC area. 


Mistral illustrated his bookplates with a cicada and the legend, "Lou souleu mi fa canta," provençal for "The sun makes me sing." Louis Sicard, a ceramicist circa 1895, began designing cicadas as paperweights, starting a trend so popular that to this day the motif makes its way to everything from fabrics to pottery displayed proudly outside of French homes.


Here, we complain about the noise and the mess.


Shall we blame climate change, politics? The good news. They're high in protein, low in fat. I hear they taste a lot like shrimp.


3 Comments For This Article

Bernrd Demczuk, Ph.D.

Thank you for the cicada alert. When last they populated our fair nation's capital 14 years ago, I served them sautéed with parsley, butter and garlic at an event I hosted for Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. The Provencal style delicacy was a big hit with guests. Many people, at first, turned up a frightful nose, but when they tasted of the creepy-crawling-thingies they came around to appreciate what the people of the South of France have known since the 19th Century - Cicadas taste good, good like sautéed shrimp and grilled asparagus. Voila, here's to their return...!

-Bernie Demczuk, Ph.D.

Tricia Huntley

I just saw the first cicada of the season yesterday and hope DC will see many more. Their last visit en masse was something to witness. Messy but fascinating!

... And I love Dr. Demczuk's adventurous spirit.

Beth S.

Thank you for your beautiful, artistic view and lovely writings...your parents in the angel world must be so proud of their magical daughter....