Run for your lives!
Seriously, we have a bizarre and fascinating, also annoying and disgusting, phenomenon going on in Nashville right now. Every 13 years by Divine clockwork, hundreds, thousands, millions? of cicadas (Magicicadas to be exact) emerge from the ground, sing, mate, lay eggs and die. All in the span of 4-6 weeks. We’re about 3 weeks into the madness right now. It’s not just a few cicadas here and there; it’s ear-piercing loud at 3pm. It’s crunchy steps through the parking lot. It’s swatting and yelping every time we’re outside. It’s cleaning splatters off the windshield several times a day. They don’t call it an invasion for nothing.
This guy (or girl) is one of the many that likes hanging out on our bamboo. Smile!
The whole event is really quite strange and I’m glad it’s almost over. Thankfully, the bugs are pretty harmless. They don’t bite. They don’t prey on other creatures. They don’t eat crops or plants. They drink the sap from trees and blades of grass. The only harm they do is cutting slits into small tree branches when the females lay their eggs. But in the grand scheme of things, this is actually a benefit — this process prunes trees and aerates the ground, so I’m told. Here’s our newly planted pear tree. Can you see the cicadas?
How about now? Can you see them?
Oh, there they are. And… this is when Lucy and I got creeped out and ran for the house. She’s OK with them until they squawk. Then she gets freaked out. And boy to they squawk. And chirp. And buzz.
If you haven’t had enough yet, check out this video I shot through the window of the conference room at work last week. My office is on the 4th floor so it’s right in the tree tops. The cicadas are so loud that I can hear them from my desk which is through a cubicle wall, a hallway, an office and a thick glass window. In the video you can hear them pinging and ponging off the window. They’re pretty clumsy.