An End To Another Cicadian Rhythm

Not much going on lately in Brookfield, cicada-related at least.

The noise has settled down to what one might hear on a normal summer day. The bugs that used to be flying around are now corpses on the ground.

All in all, this emergence was (for me) unexpected, kind of gross, and pretty cool. I’m looking forward to the next one.

Oh, a side note — my post is punning on Circadian rhythms, a term I learned in a converation a while back with Bubs, in regards to how he had lost his due to working crazy hours.

Here’s some other Rhythms that haven’t entered the common lexicon as of yet.


Chicletian Rhythm – The amount of time it takes to chew a piece of Chiclets gum before it becomes stale and you have to add another piece.


Cardassian Rhythm – Some Star Trek backstory alien race mating-ritual nonsense that I presume exists, and that probably already has a series of fan websites devoted to it (but I am not willing to look for).


Serjtankian Rhythm – The amount of time elapsing between the hearing of a song by System of a Down.

A Brief Thought About Cicadas

How many technological advances have happened since the last brood of cicadas emerged seventeen years ago?

It’s strange how the Internet, this large 800 pound gorilla, somehow just sat down in our living rooms, our basements, our offices, without most of us even realizing it was making itself at home. It was gradual enough that it all seemed rather natural.

Now we take it for granted, and we communicate on a daily basis with people (many of whom we have never met), and possibly even post our stray thoughts for strangers to read.

I did a search on Usenet for the earliest post discussing cicadas and dug up one from 1990 in the alt.horror group:

Ecology of Alien(s)

What will the world be like the next time the cicadas emerge?

Cicada Update – The Courtship Begins

Despite being absent from my blog for a week or so, cicadas are still very much a part of our lives.

The main thing we’re experiencing now is the extreme volume of the male cicadas, who are generating noises in order to attract females.

The sound is not deafening everywhere, but can get quite loud when you’re under a tree that’s particularly thick with them. The cicadas are generally only making noise during the day — it’s quiet at night (perhaps a little too quiet?)

Even when you’re not very near a tree full of cicadas, there is a kind of eerie background noise in Brookfield, similar to the sound of the alien ships in the 1953 War of the Worlds. According to its trivia page, the spaceship noises in the movie were actually created by backwards electric guitars (maybe cicadas playing backwards electric guitars?).

Are Other Illinoisans Finally Getting Bugs?

I saw some news reports on the teevee last night which indicated parts of Chicago and its outlying suburbs are finally starting to see cicadas emerging.

You may want to consider checking out some online maps devoted to showing cicada hotspots.

Chicago Tribune map

Lake County Forest Preserves map

Unfortunately, these maps are reporting just on stuff entered by people online.

What would be really cool is if cicadas excreted some unique set of chemicals that could then be sensed by some satellite and then there could be detailed, accurate maps of the bugs, and, and, and, and we could all be wearing hoverpacks, flying over the cicada parks and then, and then cicadas would launch at you but you’d have your anti-bug laser pistol handy and…. oh well.

Cicadas! Cicadas Everywhere!

The only reason why I continue posting about cicadas is because they have completely overwhelmed my life.

I’m home alone with the kids, so I decide to take them to a park a few blocks away. My daughter and my younger son ride in a wagon I’m pulling, and I’m pushing my older son in a tricycle that has a handle in the back for an adult to push.

All my other posts about cicadas were nothing, let me tell you. NOW they mean business. Now they are on the ground, on the trees, and flying around.

In the back of my mind I knew my daughter did not like these bugs, but it wasn’t until she started screaming, “Cicadas! Cicadas everywhere!” that I realized that, hey, she did not like these bugs.

I know all you bug-deprived northern Illinoisans just think I am posting fictitious cicada reports to boost my hits with entomologists, so here are some pictures taken in front of my house.

The light pole in front of my house.

Closer on the light pole.

Another view of the light pole.

Yet another view of the light pole.

One of them buggers close up.

Detail of a tree in front.

The base of the tree. Who wants pork cracklins?

Brookfield Zoo Animals Love Cicadas


Apologies to the cicada-challenged people reading this.

There was a rumor going around that people could bring in 1 pound of cicadas to the Brookfield Zoo and receive five(!) bucks.

Sadly, I have confirmed with someone at the zoo that this is not the case. They are not paying for cicadas, nor are they even taking them from an eager bug-toting public.

However, there is a grain of buggy truth in the rumor. Many zoo animals are eating the cicadas.

Hey, it even made the national news!

Cicada Emergence Lessening?

It might just be that it’s 15 degrees cooler today, but there weren’t nearly as many crunchy cicadas for me to step over on the one mile walk to my train this morning.

Could I be nearing the final stages of the cicada grief cycle?

Shock
Anger
Denial
Acceptance
Sweeping

Please note, this isn’t the cicada cycle used by everyone.

For example, here’s the one for Bubs:

Anticipation
Impatience
Happiness
Seasoning
Lunch

Hot and Icky

So, despite being aware of the imminent arrival of numerous cicadas yesterday and today, I decided *not* to mow the lawn this past weekend.

And, now I just get off the phone with My Lady and she says I need to sweep the sidewalk in front of the house when I get home, because there are so many bugs on it.

If there are that many cicadas on the sidewalk, there will be double that in each square foot of our yard.

It is going to be one hot, icky grass trimming tonight.

Cicada In The Hole!


For those in the Chicago area, look forward to being blessed with many, many bugs in the very near future.

From the Chicago Sun Times:

Those planning weddings or family reunions this spring may want to watch out for May 22.

That’s the date, a prominent cicada researcher is estimating, that the little red-eyed bugs will emerge in the Chicago area. Specifically, the evening of May 21 and early morning hours of May 22.

Some may emerge a few days earlier and some stragglers may crawl from the ground a bit later depending on sunshine and shade, but the May day is “the big day,” said Gene Kritsky, an entomologist and author of several bug books, including Periodical Cicadas: The Plague and the Puzzle.

More here.