Locusts. Or not.


That’s what I grew up calling this bug.  And, they sing in the trees.  Loudly.  The song of locusts equals summer, to me.  It always has.

I love the sound.

But, in in the process of looking up a fact concerning the locust, I learned something.  And, because I’m just dumb enough to point out my stupidity in public, I shall now tell you what I learned, so you can point and laugh at me and say, “I knew that!  You didn’t know that, Elizabeth??  I thought everyone knew that….”

I’ve gone my whole very short and young life thinking the bug pictured above is called a Locust.  But, in actuality, it is a Cicada.  I’ve heard of Cicadas, of course, but I’ve never referred to the above bug as one.  To me, it’s a locust.

But, now my whole world has changed forever, because I must now call it a Cicada, the correct term.  This is almost as life-changing and disturbing as finding out “barbed wire” is the correct term, not “bob wire” ….  Apparently, a locust is the term referring to a swarm of grasshoppers, like the plague in the Bible.

I am finding myself spiraling downward, quickly.

Summer will never be the same.  Ever.

I will now have to say, “I just love the sound of Cicadas, and not locusts, as I grew up saying, all my life, thinking locust was the proper term for those bugs, but, noooo, it’s not the proper term, because they are called cicadas, which just doesn’t sound right to me and never will….”


Sadly, our backyard is host to a few palm trees, and no locusts/cicadas.   That means, I do not hear their song, here at home.  (Saves others, now, from hearing my very long-winded diatribe.)

But, when I visit my mom, the sound of locusts/cicadas, especially this summer, is almost deafening.  And, I love it.  Or did…when they were locusts.

They are everywhere in my mom’s trees.  (I actually took a video of all the locusts/cicadas in my mom’s trees with my new phone, but lost the video when I brought my phone home to sync with my computer….I will try again, soon.)

Did you know they shed their outer exoskeleton as they grow larger?

It’s pretty amazing.  And weird.

As a kid, I used to pick the old shells off the tree limbs–you have to remove them carefully, though.  They are crunchy and fragile.

If you have any trees around where you live, stop for a moment and listen.  I betcha $10 bucks you’ll hear locusts/cicadas.  Then, if you do hear them, take a moment to actually look for them.  Look closely!  They camouflage themselves really well. When your eyes finally start picking them out, you’ll be amazed.  (Don’t worry, they don’t sting or bite.)

I guess I shall now crawl back into bed and try to come to terms with this new bit of information concerning a most sacred summer symbol.

I will never be the same.




  1. Heather

    Sorry but those silly foreigners all over the world can call that a cicada all they want, but here in the great land of Texas that is a locust and it is still “Bob wire!”

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