(Wrote this one a while ago, then forgot about it in all the madness. Oh well. Still holds.)
Ah, Cicada Season. That lovely time of year, roughly mid Feb to early April, peaking in March, when enormous insects emerge from underground and begin their courtship serenade. While not as numerous or as sporadic as the cicadas of Eastern North America, the ones here make up for it with a regular annual emergence to sprout wings, find a mate, and die all within about a week. Also, while they are generally physically similar to their northern cousins—roughly resembling a green human thumb with wings, legs, bulging eye, and a straw-like mouth—the Costa Rican cicadas are noticeably larger. Which makes cicada season all the more memorable.
Yes, Cicada Season. When the days are filled with the sound of millions of bugs screeching a high-pitched whine like so many dentist drills. The raspy chorus reaches a crescendo in the morning and early evening, both times when people are most desperately trying to fall asleep.
Oh, Cicada Season. When you can stroll along the forest edge and marvel at the delicate sprays of moisture drifting from the treetops and catching the sun, dancing upon the hot air. This is, of course, caused by the constant urination of the cicadas as they void their tiny bladders after so many years underground feeding on plant juices. The effect truly is mesmerizing. I’ve seen trees so heaving loaded with pissing insects that it was creating minute rainbows. The scene is usually accompanied with the steady patter of their fecal matter upon the leaves.
Cicada Season. When peaceful and romantic evenings upon the veranda are punctuated by large bugs hurling themselves into the lamps and human heads, while making their horrid buzz. They strike with the force of tiny thrown stones, and are surprisingly dense. Also, they seem very fond of getting tangled in hair and landing in food.
But it’s Cicada Season, when food is in abundance for birds, mammals, and reptiles alike, especially something so protein- and fluid-rich in the middle of Dry Season. This is when everything from monkeys to squirrels to iguanas to toucans turns a little insectivorous at the availability of food that is easy to catch and easier to locate. So while the rest of us may be sleep deprived, urine-soaked, and driven mad by large swarms of bugs, at least the animals are happy.