The other plague

The commune is excited about the 17-year cicadas.

We’re having a pretty cool spring so they’ve been emerging slowly from underground since the second week of May. At least that’s when people – especially the kids – started seeing them around and talking about them a lot.

Then the cicadas got really noisy in the woods. I first noticed it when I was going for a run around our big country block last Monday, the 20th. I heard the weird roar and kept waiting to cross paths with a repair truck with one of those sirens that sounds like the TV sound effect for doppler radar. Eventually I realized it was the bugs. We hear them all day long now.

It’s weird to think that these adult cicadas flying about and getting crushed on the road have been living at Twin Oaks for 17 years, longer than most members. I read on wikipedia that they sucked on underground tree roots that whole time. Then the adult cicadas came up to molt and mate and die. Mushroom told me she saw a bunch of kids wearing cicada nymph skins attached to their shirts like some people wear political buttons or whatever.

They don’t sting or bite or bother people at all. And so far they aren’t causing enough damage to our plants for people to seem worried about them. I asked Ethan if it was going to stay like this – where we definitely see them, but it doesn’t feel plague-like – and he said he remembers being a little kid during the last time they emerged, and there being so many cicadas his parents had to wipe off the car windshield before driving.

Sounds like weird fun. I’ll keep you posted on what it’s like.