My singing friend Carlos Cicada and his family have been staying on my street again this summer. The high heat and humidity that we have been enduring lately are welcomed by them; perfect for singing from their treetop lair.
This summer I placed a bird feeder outside our dining room window that has been a big hit with many smaller birds including sparrows and finches. I abandoned the hummingbird feeder after two years without a single visitor, humming, whistling or otherwise. The new feeder holds seeds and is made of wood with plastic windows, it looks very much like a little chalet.
One of the side effects of the high heat and humidity is late day or evening thunderstorms. A few nights ago we had a doozy of a storm. Great lightning display, a few foundation-shaking claps of thunder and buckets of rain.
Before going to bed, as I was closing the window lest our dining room get soaked, I noticed what looked like a small blue light in the now empty bird feeder, all the seeds having been consumed during the day. Upon closer inspection I saw that it was Carlos’ iPad. He and his family had taken refuge from the storm in the bird feeder. I imagine he was using my WiFi, so I reminded him not to repeat the Netflix fiasco of last summer when he used all my allotted download gigabytes watching A Bug’s Life.
“Hello my friend,” he shouted through the plastic siding on the feeder. “We have moved from our tree to this lovely condo for the duration of the heavy rain”. Sure enough there were his wife Consuela and kids Chico and Chica waving out at me. I bid them a safe night and retired to enjoy the fierce weather from the safety of my bed.
The next morning I was shocked to see that, so heavily had it rained, the feeder was flooded. The water had filled the lower portion where the seeds sit. By this time Carlos and family were back in their tree singing away, so I knew they were fine.
Later in the day Carlos dropped by my window, as he does from time to time, and I had a chance to ask him how they had fared. He pointed out that because of the flooding, as the water level was rising, they were forced to sleep in hammocks, suspended above the accumulated water in the feeder.
Evidently cicadas are very resourceful little fellows.
Carlos never ceases to amaze me and this was no exception. He pointed out that the hammocks kept the family dry all night. “Nothing I hate more than wet cuffs on my pajamas, Señor.”
“You wear pajamas?” I asked.
“Of course.” He replied.
Considering his penchant for hot humid climes, I pressed on and asked if he didn’t find pajamas very hot.
“Perhaps, my friend, if they were made of cotton or flannel they would be most uncomfortable, but I only wear silk pajamas.” Carlos informed me.
“Silk?” I blurted. “Nothing but the finest for you I see. That must get a bit expensive.”
“No amigo, I have a friend who is a silkworm, he makes them for me. No retail for Carlos.”
I should have seen that coming I guess …