Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cicada - it's all about the bug

May 29, 2013

I'm still waiting to see the first cicada of 2013. If you live on the east coast of the United States, you've been hearing about Brood II for a while now. If you live in western Maryland, you're likely still waiting for the big event. I *think* I heard one yesterday, but no visual contact yet, and I'm sort of disappointed.

Call me crazy but I think this is fascinating stuff. Mother Nature in one of her more unique moods. A seventeen year life cycle is some sort of poetry for a insect.

I've lived on this hillside all my life. In 1996, the last year Brood II was active, I swept cicada shells off the patio every day. I rarely saw the live critters because they were in the trees, feeding, but something drew them to the patio to shed their skin, perhaps heat. The noise, and they are noisy little critters, wasn't too bad unless a person walked up the mountain into the deeper woods, but I did keep the windows closed. It becomes "white noise." There in the background and hardly noticed. Then it's gone and a person spends a few days wondering what's missing.

There are several "cookbooks" available online for those who want to try cicada, even one from the University of Maryland, but I'm happy just to watch and listen to them. I don't find the idea of being overrun with these "locusts" the least bit annoying. I may not be here in another seventeen years and this might be my last chance to enjoy one of my world's stranger events - even if it is all about the bug.

The weather forecast is for a ninety degree day so maybe I'll get lucky and see the first one today. And maybe I need to be more careful what I wish for. Who knows?  It's one of those things that keep country life interesting!

PS. If you're in or about western Maryland this weekend - it's Bluesfest time! Slip on down to Hagerstown and join the party. Maybe they'll have improved parking this year to match those ticket prices. After all, the Bluesfest first emerged in 1996 with the cicada.

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