The Trees Are Alive!
Every year, it seems, the Cicadas emerge from their holes in the ground, ascend into the trees and begin to make a racket that scares the birds and is just plain annoying. I’ve read that they produce this din by flexing their abdominal muscles. That makes your plain old six-pack abs seem kinda puny.
If you are unfamiliar with all of this you can go to the link above and check out a few samples of the noise, er, racket, er, “song” of the Cicada.
This is all done to attract female Cicadas for some partying and serious getting-it-on. That next batch of Cicadas has to come from somewhere, right? This noise sure does work because there must be a million of these ugly things in our back yard.
A few years ago my wife, the lovely and Cicada-neutral, Dawn and I were staying in a cabin in a State Park near here while the Cicadas were living it up. One of the Park Rangers said that the number of these bugs was estimated in the tens of millions. They were everywhere and the noise was deafening.
Trying to make something positive out of the insect invasion at the Park, the Ranger also announced that he would be conducting a workshop on twenty different recipes for “Cooking With Cicadas.”
Somehow I missed it. I must have overslept or been vomiting my guts out at the thought. I’m pretty easy going with trying new foods, but…NO WAY AM I GOING TO EAT A CICADA SOUFFLE!
One other thing that we learned about Cicadas while we were at the Park was that they are both harmless and incredibly stupid.
We were staying in a cabin that had a nice deck attached. When we came outside to enjoy some time on the deck we found it covered with Cicadas. We managed to clear them off with a broom, but we kept a few for our own amusement. Call it cheap entertainment. We held Cicada races on the picnic table.
Put a couple of the orange-eyed bugs at one end of the table and watch them race, albeit somewhat slowly, to the other end of the table. You knew which bug was the winner by seeing which one fell off the other end first.
This exercise proved two things:
- Cicadas have poor depth perception.
- Dawn and I are easily amused. This could also be proven by noting that we continue to watch “Game of Thrones.”
The experts say that Cicadas have either a 13 or 17 year life cycle. If that is so, why do we have these ugly bugs in the trees seemingly every year? Somebody needs to get some remedial counting classes.
They are big, ugly, crunchy when you walk on them, and they make more noise in mating than all of the Big Ten College student bodies combined. They annoy the heck out of me and they are going to send Zeus and Zoe, the dogs next door, completely over the edge. Little Zoe isn’t wrapped too tight to begin with, and Zeus, who is big enough to uproot a tree is ready to jump the fence and start climbing.
I can’t blame him.
Me – the guy who loves summer and who looks with dread upon the approaching cold weather, is almost praying for a cold snap that would kill off these bugs for another (officially) 13 or 17 years, even though I know that (unofficially) they’ll be back next year.