SOUNDS OF SUMMER: SIDE B

two cicada pins on a rock, near prickly pear cactuses.

FRIDAY @ 5 PM EDT:

  • Dog Day Cicada pins.
    Full-color, soft enamel, LE 150, $15. Blackout version available by chance for the rest of the month, for Gold subscribers.
  • Periodical Cicada stamps. 
    Our first collectible stamp offering. 2" wide silhouette of the periodical cicada with wings outstretched. Rubber and wood. $19.

My favorite time of year has always been summer. My happiest memories all seem to take place on long, hot days that stretched on forever without the confines of school or work.

The one sound that always brings me back is the long, drawling buzz of the dog day cicada, echoing between the pitch pines. Named for the heat that draws them out of their burrows, these beauties were always a mystery to me. I never knew what the sound was as a child - it was a little like a squirrel's scolding, and a lot like someone's power tools, but it always came from a source beyond reach.

Imagine my delight when I learned it came from this strange bug - huge but gentle, froglike but as sophisticated as a living emerald. Now, when I first hear the cicada's calls between the treetops, I know I'm in the final, glorious days of summer - and I have to slow down and savor it while it lasts.

This weekend's offerings are future memories of summer, to hold onto as the seasons turn and warm days seem like an impossible dream.

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