How are you? Sorry I’ve been away so long. I knew my writing time would be harder to find while I had my grandchildren with me, little did I realize how truly tired I would be by the time I had some alone time each night.
The children are good and our month has been full of all kinds of activities I’ll share with you in the coming weeks. Today I thought I’d share what life was like with the 17 year cicadas.
My son dropped the two children off on June 4th, his first words to me was “What the hell is that?” I’d been living with the sounds of the cicadas for a couple of weeks so gave him a blank stare as a response.
For anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of living with cicadas here’s a video I took from my deck in the mid-afternoon to give you a sample. The “music” was moderate this afternoon allowing us to be outside without a headache forming. I now get why people move away while the cicadas are out.
My granddaughter, the tomboy, was initially afraid of the cicadas and wanted to hide indoors. I worried this was going to be a long visit but by the third day she joined her brother in holding them. They could easily identify male from female, the male is the only one that makes that sound,
My grandson took right to them wanting to know everything he could about this strange, to him, bug.
Their first night here they asked me to look up cicadas online. I found an interesting video the kids loved which explained their life cycle, how they drink from trees and more. Soon my grandson was bringing cicadas to me to show me the “straw” they drink from.
What we didn’t learn from the video we quickly learned through observation on my deck. We quickly determined this is how they mate.
The cicadas drove most everyone indoors. I haven’t seen my neighbors in six weeks as they are all hiding from the bugs. Sadly, the adults are so afraid of the bugs that their children are just as frightened and haven’t been out either.
While it can be interesting to watch the cicadas they are also annoying. They will land in your hair, on your face, and are sneaky hitchhikers who come indoors on your clothes. I had planned to eat most of my meals outdoors during the warm months but after having cicadas land on my plate I gave up and have eaten my meals indoors. The children have braved it and continued to have their breakfast and lunch on the deck.
I’ve managed to survive. The cicadas are dying off but they have left a lot of damage in their wake. The female cicada will cut a narrow line in tree branches to lay her eggs, the newly hatched cicadas use the fluid in the tree branches. If a tree is young it can be killed, most mature trees I heard will survive but not, it seems, without some sacrifices.
Without warning I had one branch fall from the maple tree into my driveway. The branch appeared just fine but within a couple of hours the green leaves were brown and brittle. I’ve never seen such dramatic changes in leaves before. By the next day the branch was as dry and dead as if it had been cut down a year or more ago.
The trees and plants on my property were affected as well. I’ve got a few branches I need to have removed from the maple trees which isn’t a big deal, they are mostly minor branches from what I can see -nothing that would cause damage when they fall.
On the other hand it appears I’ve lost roughly $150 worth of plants. They got small branches of my new red raspberry bushes, but I was able to save them. I can’t be sure if this almond tree will make it or not.
Both my honeyberry (haskap) bushes are gone.
And one apple tree is completely dead, the second I’m still trying to save.
I wanted to be angry, I am upset but at the same time I’m lucky too. Had my chair not broken down on me last summer I would have had beds ready to plant cranberry bushes, blueberry plants and many more. My losses could have been much higher.