Our Childhoods in a Nutshell … or, uh … Bugshell

This is the view of my morning commute from Byng to Ada. According to Mesonet.org, the site nearest our house registered 2.54 inches of rain from midnight to 7 a.m.
This is the view of my morning commute from Byng to Ada. According to Mesonet.org, the site nearest our house registered 2.54 inches of rain from midnight to 7 a.m.

Rain was in the forecast two days ago, so my theme became, “Mow ’til it’s low!”

Our father, Joe Barron, looks over his mother's garden in Independence, Missouri, in about 1976. Visible are rows of planted crops, as well as the large apple tree at the back of the garden.
Our father, Joe Barron, looks over his mother’s garden in Independence, Missouri, in about 1976. Visible are rows of planted crops, as well as the large apple tree at the back of the garden.

The forecast was right, and rain has begun. It’s quite an unusual event for Oklahoma in July. In addition to even more rain today and tonight, the forecast nigh today is just 74ºF. The last time I saw something like this in July was when a tropical storm remnant canceled the July 4 celebration in 2010.

As I mowed, I came across an object that never fails to summon memories of our childhood, the cicada shell. Like a lot of kids, my sister Nicole, cousin Lori and I collected the shells. We found them clinging to tree trunks, often to the huge old willow in the center of Grandma and Grandpa Barron’s back yard in Independence, Missouri.

The back yard at the Barron’s was one of our favorite places. In addition to the willow, there was a large birch tree, and Grandma’s huge garden, which included a well-established strawberry patch, a rhubarb plantation, and a row of blackberry bushes. There was a fairly large apple tree at the back. We played and played in that back yard.

I took time out from my mowing to photograph the cicada shell, which clung to a sprig of tall grass.
I took time out from my mowing to photograph the cicada shell, which clung to a sprig of tall grass.
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7 Comments

  1. These shells are a huge reminder of my childhood, as well. We called them “locust shells” and I didn’t learn until I was an adult that they were actually cicadas, and that “locusts” were what we’d been calling “grasshoppers”. It’s all very confusing.

    Congratulations on your rain and cool temperatures. I do not remember what the 60s feel like.

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  2. That is quite an impressive picture of a cicada shell. You certainly captured its likeness. I now want to mourn its passing.

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