Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Year of the Cicada

Yesterday as I was headed out the door to walk with my oldest daughter down the road to the bus stop, I noticed a solitary cicada on the sidewalk. It seems as if every two or three years, the news breathlessly announces that this year is the year of the 17 year cicada when thousand will come out and serenade us with their songs and disrupt our lives. I'm always left wondering where are they. About three weeks ago, the news breathlessly announced that this was the year of the 17 year cicada. I didn't hold my breath.

But as we walked down the sidewalk, I could hear the noticeable hum of millions of the suckers throughout the neighborhood beginning to sing their song. It is almost a whisper compared to the roar that comes later when they are more fully matured. Then I saw the oak tree out front. There were hundreds of cicadas stuck all around the trunk and looking up through the branches there are probably tens of thousands of cicadas stuck in various forms of molting. I have never seen anything like it before so this year, they must have gotten it right.

As I walked closer to the trunk to take pictures and observe, I noticed a distinct crunching under my feet. Then I looked down and saw thousands more cicadas littering the ground, all in various stages of molting. I rushed inside to get the rest of my family to see such a sight and as I was leading them back out the door, my wife noticed I had a cicada on my back. That is because standing under the oak tree was like standing in a cicada rain storm. Molting cicadas were loosing their grips with the bark and falling all around like large rain drops. It was a sight to behold.


roaring40 said...

Aren't they always about but one year in x-years they change and become the locust of the Bible. I seem to remember reading about another far more hunger little sod that munched it's way about your end of the world in the early 20th century. I could be wrong there.

Ron said...

Whoa! Nice shots!

You know... they are quite edible when they are molting...

Ed said...

Vince - I think the biblical locust plaque refers to what we call grasshoppers. Cicadas aren't destructive, that I know of anyway, to the local crops.

Ron - Fried, sauteed or raw? I think I would try sauteing them first. They certainly are making a racket now. It is a constant drone now all day long.

Ron said...

A couple of years ago, I tried sauteed... but I had trouble finding very many at the molting stage. I also baked and chopped some to add to bread.

Next time, if I have a good quantity of them, I'd like to try boiling like shrimp.