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    Recently, I read an article in Mother Jones Magazine written by E.J. Graff, that began: “On a dreary, cold Saturday in April.” Then I looked at my thermostat, and it informed me that, on this hot day in June, in Tucson, Arizona, the outside temperature had just peaked at 115 degrees, setting some kind of record that only a meteorologist can love.

    There’s an old saying, “It’s hot enough to fry and egg on the sidewalk.” Well, that day, it was hot enough to roast a pig! I spotted a Great Horned Owl huddling the shade, on the ground near a tall wall. Upon seeing me, he flew away. That let me know, that while it was too hot for airplanes to take off in the 119 degrees in  Phoenix, a person can always hitch a ride on the back of a really big owl.

    So what! It’s hot! That’s the price we desert rats pay for 8 1/2 glorious months of temperate weather, while our cousins in the North suffer icy winds, blizzards and snow (The other 1/2 is a bow to temperamental September.) But, this article is not totally about summer heat. As Will Ferrell so aptly said, “Summer is real cute until every type of insect comes out of the 8th circle of Hell.”

    Consequently, until the monsoon rains arrive, and bring the tarantulas out of their burrows, it’s time for the noisy Cicadas to come out of the ground, from their 2-5 year lethargy, and begin to play their extremely loud, buzzing sounds. Only the males play these songs, and I guess the females accommodate them to shut them up. It seems to work, because after two or three weeks the Cicadas die off. These insects live a sad but noisy and active sex life. Cicadas are big and loud but harmless to humans. They don’t sting—-They sing!

    There is a legend about Cicadas. The legend claims that; “These insects are the souls of poets who cannot keep quiet because when they were alive, they never wrote the poems they wanted to.” The only loud poets I ever encountered wrote Rap Poetry, and entertained in underground clubs.

    Perhaps there’s some truth to the legend, but I think it’s more feasible that Cicadas are the souls of people who wished that their kids, who played the violin, had practiced when they were out of the house.

     I will let you ponder that possibility while I take a teabag out to my car. The bottle of water in there is probably boiling by now. A cup of hot car tea, and a Cicada concert really does let me know that summer has arrived.

    Esther Blumenfeld (“What is so rare as a day in June?”) James Russell Lowell

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