Wednesday, June 5, 2013

After 17 years the Cicadas are back.

After 17 years the Cicadas are back. The steady hum of millions of these red-eyed visitors is a continuous din, a constant background noise. They say it's the loudest sound produced by insects.  They're in the neighborhood of 90 to 100 decibels.  The sound is continuous from sun-up and never stops for even a second.

Nature's miracle are littering my driveway, their bodies are everywhere. Live cicadas are flying clumsily in the air. They land on everything.  It's impossible to get the newspaper at the end of the driveway without crunching them under foot.  Apparently they’re considered food by almost anything that will eat insects,  but nothing could make a dent in the fantastic numbers that have appeared.

My neighbor has a pin oak tree that seems to be the epicenter of the invasion.  It's covered with more cicadas than can be imagined.  However you can’t even get close because the base of the tree is thick with mounds of their dead bodies, hundreds, thousands, maybe tens of thousands.  They’re six to eight inches deep in places.  I don't like going near because the whole area is ripe with the smell of decay from their dead bodies.

But, on the bright side,  -  they are fun to sketch.


  1. I love your "bright side" approach! We read about the coming hatching of the hordes but never saw one before we had to leave Brooklyn. Your sketch makes them look really fascinating... but based on your description of the smell, I'm just as glad we missed 'em!

  2. You've put a positive spin on all those dead creatures. lol I do remember seeing them in several places in the past...right now there don't seem to be any here locally. Good sketch!


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