Rainbirds or Screaming Banshees

I got back to Ajijic around 1:00 am Central time on Sunday morning. I had been traveling since 8:30 am Eastern time on Saturday – 18 hours. Opening the door to my stuffy apartment which had been closed up for two weeks, I threw open the sliding doors in the bedroom, pressed the switch to turn on the ceiling fan, stripped down to my underwear, and hit the bed.

An unfriendly sun greeted me way too early for my weary body. But the view from my bedroom window quickly changed my mood. I was home, and it was another peaceful day in paradise.

After going out for breakfast, I was doing some unpacking. Then it started…

It sounded like a screaming banshee (whatever that sounds like) interspersed with a click like someone rewinding gears. And, it didn’t stop. I decided to go out and have a look. There was nothing to see. The noise was coming from the trees. I thought it might be a whistling in the electric lines. By this time, with the screaming in my head, I thought I was going nuts. What had United Airlines done to me this time?

I couldn’t understand why the Mexicans were unconcerned, the dogs weren’t howling in pain, and the horses weren’t rearing up and throwing their riders.

You see, I’m just a dumb, ignorant Gringo. What do I know? This was the return of the chicharros, also known as rainbirds, a cicada that’s the harbinger of the rainy season.

Noisy little creature called a Rainbird

Noisy little creature called a Rainbird

It was a welcome sound to those who understand their return marks the end of the hot and dusty dry season, and the beginning of the cooler rainy season in about six weeks (as legend has it).

So as I write this post, they’re outside doing their thing. This might be a night for ear plugs.

Want to hear what I’m talking about? Check out the YouTube video above.

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