|| 21 May 2021
Cicadas: For Good Luck in Provence & More
After I posted the Nouvelles about eating cicadas, I received an email from Ann Leslie in New York with more interesting info about these insects that are currently receiving a lot of attention in the media. (Merci, Ann Leslie) She also included some interesting info on crickets. She wrote:
I was surprised that you didn't mention that La Cigale is one of the symbols of Provence — both beloved and detested for its loud noise — or so I have read. They're featured on those Provencal tablecloths and dish towels, and cicada wall vases are hung on walls for good luck. You can see a good variety of cicada wall vases by searching for "cicada wall vase" on eBay.
The little fellow in the image I am including is 1.5 inches and hangs on my bathroom wall around the neck of a ceramic duck's head. The color is very off in the picture; it's actually silver-colored. It was one of those Amazon or eBay specials from China, about $2 with free shipping.
I'm due for cicadas this year. Apparently they're starting to show up in Washington, D.C. If the following picture doesn't appear, it's a bumper sticker saying "Virginia is for Cicadas."
From what I've read, you don't have the same cicadas [in Texas] we have in the east, large swarms that people have to sweep up with brooms. " 'We don’t have as many periodical cicadas down here,' says [someone from Texas A.&M]. 'We do have some other cicada species, but they are not the 13- or 17-year cicadas.' "
I've been hearing about cicadas as food for the last few years, mostly ground up as high-protein flour. I've been trying to get used to the idea. I am, however, very aware that when I eat shrimp I'm eating something very much like an insect.
What we call "June Bugs" are large dark brown or black beetles that look like scarabs. They like to fasten themselves to the outsides my screens.
To me, the sound of cicadas is the sound of summer. It's hard to imagine now, since it's been a very cool spring so far, even down near freezing some nights. I wonder if the cicadas will drown out the very loud "peeper" frogs that sing when the weather is hot. And the crickets. Did you know that you can tell the temperature by counting cricket chirps? Count the number of chirps in 14 seconds and add 40. It works. And I don't see anything to suggest that it only works for crickets in the northeast, but maybe you have different crickets?
AnneNote: The Ebay seller of the cicada wall vase shown center in the image above provides this background information and description:
Louis Sicard Cicada Wall Pocket $69
Louis Sicard, a ceramicist based in Aubagne, was asked in 1895 by a wealthy tile manufacturer to make a typical Provençal artifact as a gift for his business clients. Louis Sicard chose the shape of a Cicada because of its prevalence in Provence. At that time, the Cicadas were popular with the poets and writers in the area.
Today the Cicada is a symbol of good luck and happiness. Cicada wall vases are hung at an entrance, hallway or kitchen to bring joy and luck to the family and home. These decorative cicadas can be filled with fresh and dried flowers, lavender, herbs or whatever you wish. Colors: Yellow, Green & Black Size: 6.6 inch long x 3 inch wide. Made In Provence France.