Cicada Update

Posted by barb on May 24, 2004 in Pictures |

My count continued over the weekend:

  • Saturday, May 22, saw a bunch: 1 flying outside the door as Andrew left in the morning; 8 on my errands into Vienna; another 9 while running errands with Andrew. Total: 18
  • Sunday, May 23, the count officially comes to an end. When I went out to get our bikes out of the shed, I saw a dried out cicada outer shell hanging on the door of our fence (not sure what it’s called, but when they crawl out of the ground, they generally attach themselves to a nearby tree and they develop an hard outer shell which they then shed).

    I screamed, and then calmed down a bit, until I looked over and saw two more shells on the fence, and a cicada. Andrew came over to see what was wrong, and then sighed, “This is going to be a long bike ride, isn’t it?”

    We got the bikes out, drove up to the W&OD trail, where more cicadas attached themselves to our bikes and then flew away.

    I stopped counting when I got to a bazillion. At that point, it’s really not useful to count anymore.*

Here are a couple of the shedded-shells on our fence:
Close-up of the cicada casing   Cicada casings on the back fence

The sound of the cicadas is becoming annoying. There are so many of them that in the background it sounds like the hum of phaser fire, but it’s not intermitent — it’s constant during the daytime. I work in a trailer, and I start to hear the cicada drone about 10-15 feet before I get to the outside door. I just imagine that when I get out I’m going to see the horizon glowing red from the alien phasers that are surely razing the city.

* A bazillion is mathematically like infinity. A bazillion plus one is still a bazillion. In fact, a bazillion plus a bazillion is still a bazillion. So, counting beyond a bazillion is just silly. (And I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Math to prove it.)

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