I was talking to some other parents at softball practice about the thunderstorms that had blown through the night before, and someone said, “Well, at least it shut up the cicadas,” and most of the other parents standing around agreed that was a good thing.
I didn’t say anything. This is one of issues where people have to agree to disagree.
I like the cicadas. I like hearing that whirring drone whenever I step outside. I think it sounds like summer. It makes me think of summer vacation and cookouts and playing outside until it’s too dark to see.
Here in the South, we have the nation’s largest brood of periodic cicadas, Brood XIX. It’s been underground since 1998, living on tree roots. Cicadas emerge by crawling up the trunk. The males buzz to attract the females. The females will lay their eggs, and this brood of cicadas will disappear underground for another 13 years.
Thing 2’s soccer team cookout was last Saturday. The trees and wooden fences were covered with living cicadas and their discarded shells. One of the boys ran over to show me something. It was a cicada.
“Why don’t you put it down?” I said. “It’s a living thing. It’s not bothering anyone.”
Someone said, “At school, this boy pulled the legs off one and its head popped off!”
“Let’s not do that,” I said. “It’s been underground since before you were born. It’s just trying to make babies. Let’s leave it alone.”
The boy roughly put the cicada on a fence rail, and it limped away.
This brood of cicadas is expected to disappear by July. Some people won’t, but I’ll kind of miss them.
Here’s a video I shot of some cicadas in the magnolia tree outside my window.