the electric hum of cicadas

5.16.24 ~ North Carolina Botanical Garden
American columbo, going to seed?

Tim is back from spending an amazing week in Florence, Italy, with some of his brothers. They attended a cooking class and a three tenors singing performance, took a wine tour, ate at many great restaurants, visited museums and caught colds. (Not covid, thankfully.) While he was gone I tackled more of my family history boxes, sorting through and organizing.

The morning after he got home we took a quick peek at the botanical garden, and as expected, the columbo flowers had gone by, so I’m glad I got the blossom picture I did on that rainy day. Meanwhile…

new growth on the hemlock
new blooms on a rhododendron
tadpoles turning into frogs
a little Carolina rosebud
asters waiting to bloom
a spittlebug inside its foam shelter
(it will become a froghopper)
New Jersey tea flourishing

“The electric hum of cicadas, which was a low drone” continues. Tim says it sounds louder than it was when he left. If so, the sound must have increased so gradually that I didn’t notice it from one day to the next. (The quote is from a book, which I haven’t read, Abandoned Sulphur, Louisiana, by Mike Correll.)

The heat and humidity are creeping up now so there won’t be as many posts from me in the coming months. I will concentrate on my yoga and the massive family history project. But, I will post here on the rare occasions when the weather permits a walk and photos. And there might just be a few more frequent art and quote combinations…

19 thoughts on “the electric hum of cicadas”

    1. You’re welcome, Frank. We are experiencing only one brood, the 13-year Great Southern Brood (Brood XIX), and we are on the very eastern edge of its range. My friend lives in the next county to our east and has nothing!

  1. Tim’s trip sounds amazing! I can see why you might “hole up” and do indoor projects for a while, at least until the heat and humidity become more bearable. No sense getting eaten alive by mosquitoes if you don’t have to!

    1. Tim did have a great time. 🙂 Last summer we were quite busy setting up house so we didn’t have a chance to get cabin fever. I hope my projects will have the same effect and keep me from going bonkers this summer!

  2. Sounds like Tim had a lot of fun. I’m envious, I love Italy.
    Glad you caught the last of the Columbo.
    I hope you have many more tolerable days, but I don’t blame you for finding inside activities. Kind of like the inverse of our winter… the weather is just too tough to deal with comfortably. But don’t be a stranger here! 🙂

    1. Maybe I will find some more family history discoveries in those boxes. I will do my best to not be a stranger here!
      One of Tim’s brothers lived in Italy a couple of times for several years at a time when he was in the army. He loved it so much that he and his wife go back there for a long visit every chance they get. It was really nice that he invited the family to come stay with them this time.

  3. I’ve never been to Italy and Tim’s trip sounds like fun. Does Tim like to cook? My neighbor Marge’s son Keith was really into gourmet cooking so she took him to see Emeril Lagasse once when he was in town. Keith had so many types of cooking gadgets and various pots and pans that he converted his garage to use it for all his cooking paraphernalia. I had never heard of a spittle bug – from your photo, I see why it gets that name.

    Barbara, I don’t blame you refraining from long walks in the heat and humidity. We had a warm and stormy day here – it got to near 90 today, then one storm and another later this evening. With a Summer that is hotter than usual, it will be miserable out on the trails.

    1. Tim does enjoy cooking, thank goodness. With my gut problems and terribly restricted diet I’ve totally checked out of the food and cooking part of life. He prepares all his own meals now and I am in charge of the cleanup, which I don’t mind at all. It’s a relief not having to think about what to cook. He even cooks for company. I hope he doesn’t get as enthusiastic as your neighbor Keith, though. We don’t have a garage and he’s already been buying more gadgets that we need to make room for.
      I just hope going through our family history boxes will keep me from getting cabin fever this summer! I’ve enjoyed being outside in the springtime here so much.

      1. Keith was really into cooking – I really can’t cook, so my meals are very simple. I follow a blogger whose blog is about easy recipes. Right now Diane has a whole kitchen renovation going on. She does cook on her stove a lot, but her daily posts also are a lot of things made with her air fryer. She has set up in the living room I think she said with her gadgets so they don’t starve during the remodeling. 🙂

        Hopefully there will be some cool mornings to do a little escape Barbara. We have a heat wave now – real feel yesterday and today in the low 90s – ugh. Came home from walking at the Park feeling all dragged out and I was there by 8:15 a.m. I’m waiting for an all clear as we were supposed to have a hefty thunderstorm roll through here around midnight … it started around 4:00 p.m. and has been making the rounds. I’d rather not trot off to bed, then the weather alarm goes off. We have severe weather Wednesday … and so it begins, the heat spikes and volatile weather.

        1. My meals are simple, too. Chicken, codfish or salmon baked in the oven, swordfish or turkey burgers grilled on the indoor electric grill. My special grain-free crackers. Once in a while I splurge on a grass-fed beef burger. My daughter-in-law loves her air fryer but I’ve never used one.

          And so summer begins for both of us! I’m so grateful for air conditioning! 🙂 The botanical garden doesn’t open until 9 am so we can’t walk there quite as early in the morning as I’d like to. Now I’m worried about dogs again. Four loose pit bulls attacked a woman and her 12 year-old son yesterday as they were out for an evening walk in their neighborhood, not too far from here. At least the garden is gated and no dogs allowed…

          1. You are a better cook than I am Barbara. Most of my meals are in the crockpot, so they are very simple. I hear people rave about their air fryers but I will resist, at least for now.

            Finally some of the humidity will go away over night, but today we broke a heat record last set in 1947. Not fun when it is only May to be this hot. I’m sorry to hear about the pit bulls – I guess I thought that was just a big problem here. In the last two weeks we have had two pit bull maulings but in other cities, not mine. One was a toddler with her grandmother and the other was a man and that mauling was fatal. The baby is in critical condition; the grandmother is okay. On Facebook, our City has a residents forum and people are always posting that a pit bull is running around and asking “is this your fur baby?” I’m sorry, but I don’t think of a pit bull as a fur baby, only a vicious animal. I have been walking to/from the Park lately to get in more steps. The car gets enough miles on it if I drive to Lake Erie Metropark (30 miles roundtrip) … the contractors running the big machines that have taken down all the trees for this project arrive in one van. I thought they may cordon it off, but they have not. I like the two-mile walk to/from the Park then two or three more miles there (though it’s not the same), but I won’t walk if a pit bull is on the loose. I can understand your fear. I hope no fawns are wandering about. I often think of your early posts in NC and feeding the deer or fawn blueberries from your hand.

          2. We had a yearling deer in the yard yesterday, looking up expectantly at our sliding glass doors. I wonder if he remembered the apples and pumpkins we fed his family last autumn, before we learned that it is illegal to feed them. Sigh… He was by himself so I also wondered if his mother has a new fawn or two that she’s nursing now and has nudged him out to be on his own.

            That pit bull attack was so bad that the mother and son wound up in the hospital. I hope they recover all right. I’m even getting nervous to go out and check the mail, there are so many large dogs around here. Two Irish Setters are walked without a leash.

          3. I would love to see a yearling fawn peering in the sliding glass door at me. I remember when you first got to NC you were feeding one a handful of blueberries. That’s a surprise you’re not allowed to feed them. At the Metroparks you are not allowed to feed any critters, even peanuts to a squirrel. One of the times I was there recently, I was walking along the road and every few feet was a single carrot. I wished the deer (or whomever the carrots were intended for would happen along).

          4. It’s a local ordinance against feeding the deer. They are so overpopulated I can see why the community doesn’t want to encourage them to hang around. They’re also a problem for drivers. I don’t know how many get hit by cars but we often have to slow down or come to a complete stop to avoid hitting them when they dart into the road. So we content ourselves with enjoying watching them nibble on vegetation as they pass through the neighborhood.

          5. I wonder if they have that ordinance here as well? Someone posted a photo of one in our city at the middle school a mile from me about a month ago and other people have seen them in the city, one in a driveway between two houses. They go along with the raccoons and possums. And someone saw a possum at Council Point Park with four babies on its back. I would have liked to see them. I meant to include that in my post as they probably were living in a tree there and essentially were evicted. There have been deer loping around Council Point Park, but mostly around dawn when there is no activity at the Park.

          6. I would have been excited to see a possum with four babies on her back, too. Dawn and dusk are the best times to see deer, and they seem to love browsing near the borders of woodlands and meadows. Our yard fits that description!

          7. You are lucky to see those beautiful creatures up close and personal. I asked some people if they had seen the possum again, but no one had – that’s unfortunate. I’d have loved to see that.

  4. I like the rhododendron photo. Once upon a time we lived in a house with rhododendron bushes out front, I miss them. I’ll look forward to seeing you when I do. The intense heat slows us all down.

    1. That rhododendron was so pretty! I took lots of pictures of different blossoms and had a hard time choosing just one for the blog. 😉 I never had rhododendrons before but I’m enjoying the ones we have down here outside the living room window. Watching the butterflies land on them in the afternoon, I can see why you miss them.

A box for your thoughts...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.