Monday, June 3, 2013

When Cicadas Attack !

These are photographs my daughter took and has appropriately watermarked.

  I remember seventeen years ago, this time of year very well.  Daniel had been born in May, and we were adapting to being a family of six.  These were glorious days and he was a very happy baby. I believe I heard about cicadas who were emerging in the national forest that year, but I didn't personally see or hear, even one that year.  It's funny how living in the suburbs can shield us somewhat from some of the cycles of life around us.  This year, seventeen years later, we are here on the farm, surrounded by forests, and Daniel has been to Earth and returned to God, and one of the things he successfully avoided while he was here, are the cicadas.  On this farm it will be impossible to miss them.
               Cicadas in this region are the seventeen year variety.  We first noticed them this year at our daughter's house.  She is also in a forested region.  She has taken some interesting pictures of them.  Cicadas emerge from the ground every seventeen years to a cacophony of noise which sounds like buzzing and clicking.  The noise is a drone at first, and then it becomes so loud in late evening that it is impossible to talk to anyone outside.  One of our sons said it sounds like the backdrop to a horror film just before the insects descend on the human beings.  About ten days later, the cicada noises could be heard at the farm, and if you gazed into the thick dark green areas of the forest, you can see some of them flitting around.  We noticed that the sound gets louder and louder until eventually the cicadas dig holes in the dirt, deposit their eggs and then die leaving sizable insect exoskeletons everywhere.  This process is occurring now at our daughter's home, and I would imagine, we are some days behind.

She has swarms of these she calls, "Swarmageddon"

                This morning, I was mucking the horse stalls, and in the heat, my hair was tied up into a Gibson-girl styled bun on the top of my head. All at once,  there was a loud buzzing and movement on my neck. I instinctively shrieked thinking that anything from a tree frog to a hornet was on my neck !   The horses heard my shriek from their grazing area and whinnied loudly.  "I'm okay", I told them.   Just a big cicada. I knocked it off my neck, and it flew out of the stall and away.  Later, another one flew over to me to investigate what I was doing as I emptied a giant wheelbarrow from the stables to a composted horse manure pile on the edge of a forest.  A number of them seemed to be swarming.  In general I like to know about the cycles of nature. However, this is one creature I will be happy to have gone.  God certainly was wise in not having these particular creatures emerging more often than seventeen years !


This is Julia Bentley of "Canadian Please" fame, performing "Love Will Lead You Back" acapella

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