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Am Cicada

First doodles with new version of Painter. I wish a new user interface only emerged every seventeen years...


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My father was stationed on Okinawa when I was a little girl (1st & 2nd grade). There were a lot of these insects around - we called them sammies. I remember pestering our Okinawan maid to tell me what she called them. She told me sammy and I argued that that was what WE called them. I wanted to know the Japanese word. But she never budged.

I think I was in high school before I learned they were actually called cicada (which I still can't pronounce - and I'm in my 50s now).

5 years ago, while watching an anime (in Japanese w/ English open captioning) I finally found out the answer to my question to Keiko all those years ago. The Japanese word for cicada is sami.

(I always pronounced them si (as in sibling) KAY (as in sir kay!) dah (as in da-da!), if that helps. Yes, that's one C acting like an S, and the other acting like a K. Undoubtedly the usual sort of mangling when English gets its claws into a word...)

I have always used kah not kay in the middle, but otherwise the same. The word appears to have come via, but not from, Latin, so both c should be hard Ks - but as you say, English has never paid attention to logic.

I'm listening to a lovely cicada gwwooeeeeooeeeeeeeeeeeoo-fest out the window right now! Annual cicadas, not periodical ones. The last periodical hatching a few years back missed my area entirely, much to my disappointment.

It's alright, that's no reason to ... brood.


That comment just made my night! Thanks!

That's not a hamster princess....

I call shenanigans! >.>

You don't wanna know how many hamster princesses I have drawn recently...

Are they all in their t-shirts?

Are they dancing?

Are all thirteen of them in the panel at the same time?


Put the hamsters on my tombstone, that's all I ask.

I will chisel a tiny pre-pubescent dragon on the other side for you. -_-

The cicada's here in Florida are chrrrrrrring gently in the background.
The ones just outside of Atlanta, on my way home from DragonCon were screaming their heads off!

I can't remember... Ursula, were you living on the East Coast during the 2004 cicada eruption of Brood X? My god, it was a thing to behold, thousands of cicadas hanging on tree limbs and bumbling into unsuspecting passersby, and a constant hum in the background that sounded like an alien spacecraft hovering out of view.

I was attending an all-girls high school at the time. The horrified shrieking was hilarious.

I'm in the Great Southern Brood range, not Brood X, so I saw a different eruption. It was pretty awesome, though!

Ah, excellent, I'm glad you've gotten to experience a cicada emergence. I get the feeling it's a horrorshow for the average, nature-disinclined person, but for nature-loving folks it's something of a sublime, exciting, only-get-to-see-this-a-few-times-in-your-life kind of thing. The only part I'd rather do without is the post-eruption smell of dead cicada on the sidewalk. Blech. Circle of life!

I just got an Ebook reader. I don't suppose there is anyway to buy an ebook version of Digger is there?

Not yet! It's in discussion...

I put the PDF of Digger on my kindle and it is JUST readable, just!

When I was a kid in NW Florida, a favorite game was to see how many shed cicada skins (you know, the stiff, translucent tan ones you find clinging to pine tree trunks) we could delicately hook by their empty claws onto the backs of our friends' shirts. The look on their faces as they leaned back and got a crispy, prickling crunchy noise was *priceless*..... and they always got their revenge sooner or later. There were LOTS of cicadas.

My primary school (in Australia) actually banned us from wearing cicada shells! I think they got sick of the clean up and no teacher needs to be greeted at the end of lunch by 30 kids all with hundreds of cicada shells attached to their school uniforms!

**laughs** Yeah, I can imagine! I wouldn't want to see that either. In this case it was a prank-- the idea was to sneak them onto your friends' shirts without their knowing. Gradeschool kids are mean little bastards when they want to be.

Edited at 2014-09-11 01:18 pm (UTC)

For some reason I had never even considered the possibility that Australia would have cicadas. I am a bad biologist. I've known for awhile that they're in East Asia (thanks, anime of my childhood!), but Australia has always been this place in my mind that's full of its own special, isolated, endemic species. Are your cicadas gigantic, venomous, and man-eating? Gotta live up to the Australian wildlife stereotypes! (I kid, I kid.)

(Suspicious comment)
Wow, looks like Australia has a wildly diverse suite of cicadas. More than 200 species?! Very impressive. I wonder if the whole Cicada family originated in the Australasian region way, way back in evolutionary history and then spread around the world.

I love the common names for your cicadas, they're so colorful. "Greengrocer/Yellow Monday" has to be my favorite of the lot mentioned on the first site. Where I grew up (eastern US), we just called them "cicadas", no distinction between the species or types. Most often we had some version of these guys. Pretty big, but I think that redeye you linked might be bigger.

I promise my reply with links was not Spam!!!!

It looks so worried. I will spend all afternoon wondering what's on its mind.

It'd look awfully cute in a hat. Can't you just see it in a sombrero? Or a nice French beret? Or even a Diamondbacks baseball cap!

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