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Cicada Reunion Time

on June 7, 2013

Not sure how many folks know about the cicada. Every 13 to 17 years these bugs emerge from their underground dwellings to have a few weeks “sex fest” before dying off. An interesting life cycle when you think about it. It is estimated some trillion cicadas will emerge. It takes about 5 days of good weather, so says magicicada.org for the males to start their singing. If you have never heard a cicada sing… when thousands start their mating calls it will be a sound you will never forget.

Just some facts about these mysterious critters:
1. They do not bite. They may zoom around and dive bomb but they have no interest in you whatsoever.
2. They are not the biblical locust. Those were grasshoppers not these sex crazed critters.
3. They do not eat plants. They suck sap from trees. They also lay their eggs in them. Harm might come to some young trees but not to your plants.

Birds, cats, dogs, spiders, and snakes are known to enjoy dining upon these bugs. Remember, they are not poisonous so no worries about harming your pets. It is my understanding these critters are a rare delight to most animals.

After noting a post form a cousin on Facebook about hearing the songs of the cicada I began to think about their long dreaded return. Though no one understands their lengthy cycles, they are among one of those wonders some get the rare privilege to experience. Oh, I am not say I would delight in being caught in a situation with a trillion of these sex crazed critters buzzing around but just the thought that so many have lived quietly for so long growing in the trees and underground waiting for just the right time to appear is amazing. Ho many can say they have ever seen millions or billions of bugs in one place at one time? Guess it sounds more like a Stephen King moment. Can you imagine the aftermath of millions of dead cicadas? Oh, another unpleasant thought.

These rare oddities of nature are interesting to kids. If you live in one of the areas noted on the maps found on magicicada.org you might want to read up on the events. Some children might be afraid of the masses of bugs. Ease their fears and peak their interest in learning more about rare events. Granted bugs are not for everyone especially in great masses but to some it will be an experience of a life time to see. I know my son even at 24 would love to see such an incredible sight of billions of bugs. Some never out grow those childhood interest. Actually, we never should. Embrace the event with some caution and a lot of wonder. You never know how Mother Nature will react to what man is doing to the Earth. Such natural

Discarded cicada skin

Discarded cicada skin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

occurrences may never happen again due to the concrete surfaces entombing the larvae or the deforestation of their natural habitats cutting off their food supplies. Though scientists do not understand the reasons for their behavior once they are gone we might find out the negative impact of them not being around.

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