17 years already??

As you may or may not know, this is the year that the 17-year cicada emerges from its long underground slumber and joins with all of its friends to wreak havoc on our eardrums.

To me, one of the most distinctive sounds of summer is the sounds of the cicadas.  It is soothing…sort of like comfort food for the ears.

However, when this particular brood of cicadas emerges and they all join in and they sound something like this…”EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!”.  Hopefully you’ll get the idea. 🙂

They last emerged in 1991, but I don’t really remember them being particularly loud around here, so who knows what we’ll get this time out.

This brood of cicadas is known as Brood XIV, or Brood 14 for those non-Romans amongst us.  If you want to read a bit more about them, there are tons of articles out there.  This is a nice map showing the emergence of the cicadas…Cicada Emergence Map…and that is a nice site in general to talk about this years infestation.  Here is some general information from Wikipedia.

The last time these guys showed up, one of my aunts tried to convince me that it was a sign that the end was near…the emergence of the locusts…pretty much scared the crap out of me.  However, I quickly learned that they are not locusts at all and that we were pretty safe, at least for a while.  They do manage to do some damage to tree limbs, as they nibble down into the limb, insert their egs, and then the limb dies and falls to the ground, allowing the little guys to dig down and bury up for the next 17 years.

So take a walk outside and look around your yard.  You may just have a few visitors out there right now.

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