Sunday, June 01, 2008

Strange Things Are Afoot at the Circle K...

Ok, so I woke up at 4:30 this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. I decided it would be a good time to read the book club book (sorry, Jen, I just got it from the library yesterday). I read until about 7:30, when I got up to water my poor little plants and seeds. The ones that Keziah and her little friend Chloe did not disturb, pound into the turf, or otherwise mess up when they stravaged about my garden yesterday (oops, note to self: do NOT go there). I decided that I needed to water the poor transplants in the front since the hoped-for rains did not come yesterday.

So picture it: It's a warmish morning and I'm dragging the water hose from the back of the house to the front because there's not water spigot in the front (nope, don't go there either). I'm simultaneously talking to David, who is up with me, chattering about camp, the upcoming park visit with the Bakers, camp, watering plants, the possibility of having a bubble-blow before leaving for church, etc. I walked out about as far as the hose would go, then gave it a pull for good measure and was about to walk out into the yard closer to the garden when something odd caught my attention out of the corner of my eye.

My thoughts: "Now that tree looks really strange. Lumpy almost. Aw man, don't tell me it's got some sort of tree disease and is about to drop. I know it's old but for Pete's sake...wait...those aren't lumps...they're cicadas...Oh. My. Word."

My actions: Well, first I was rooted to the spot looking on in awed horror. Then I dropped the hose and started sprinting back toward the house. At this point, David, who's never seen me sprint when he wasn't in imminent danger, says, "Mom! Wait for me!" I said, "Davy, come on! We've got to go get your dad and the sisters! They have to see this!" Then he sort of slowed down and questioningly asked, "The 'cadas?"

Yes. The 'cadas. I guess Brood XIV has finally reached maximum hatchery because man alive, our trees are writhing with cicadas. Trees as in plural. As in four old enormous trees in the front yard. As I came in from watering the front beds I had this thought, "I wonder how long it will be before they all start their 'singing' in the trees?"

More pictures:

Closer-up of the same tree.

Base of that same tree. I don't know why I can't convince the picture to be the correct orientation, but this is indicative of the sheer numbers coming out. As I bent down and was quiet, I could almost hear those things coming out of the ground. And I did hear them coming out of the shells and whirring a little bit. And yes, this is what finally gave me the willies about the cicadas.

Another base shot. When I held my hand (which is a largish female hand) up to the tree trunk, I could count 20 or so cicadas under my hand-spread. This tree is over 2 stories high and, while the cicadas thin out some as they ascend the trunk, they don't much.

After I took this shot, I thought, "Wow, all those bugs are up there having relations and everything. I don't think I want to be standing beneath this tree any longer." So I skeedaddled and woke up the rest of the family, who were not nearly as pleased as I was.

Hey, it isn't often that you live in history and know it's history as it happens, right?

And I think I'll be preparing for camp inside for the next couple of days.


cindy said...


We have a couple of trees like that. They just give me the willies. (Technical, I know...) but I just cringe, trying not to scream in front of the girls.

ICK cindy

Lori said...

WOW is right! Cindy and you must have gotten hit harder than we did. Although we have plenty in our backyard, I didn't see anything like THAT.

Now, they are "singing" (not quite the word I would use to describe it, but...) so loudly during the day here, you can hear them *inside* the house *with* A/C running. Ay de mi!


robinrobin said...

Oh my GOODNESS!! Now that's a lot of cicadas. I have never seen such a thing. How long did they stay?

We are having an unusually large number of LARGE horse flies invade our home this year. We've only ever had one before and we've had four so far in the past week. They fly at you with a vengence, at your head, and try to "get" you. They are horrid!

Hugs, Robin