The Plague

Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of cicadas outside (and finding molted bodies stuck to yard bags). This confuses me a little because I thought the 13-year cicadas weren’t due for another year. Are these a different brand? Or do they live for a couple years? Have I just been living too far away from the woods to remember these things?

I know for a fact that the 13-year cicadas aren’t due until 2011 because in 1998, St. Louis had a Biblical plague of the 13-year AND 17-year cicadas – an occurrence more rare than Haley’s Comet.

Do you guys remember that summer? Cicadas would fly into your hair every day. If you left your car window open, there would be at least 3 dead ones on your dashboard in the morning, guaranteed. Sunbathers would have to suffer through multiple kamikaze attacks.

Pranks began to emerge involving the piles (yes, piles) of dead bugs. Every outdoor surface had a crispy cicada shell attached to it, usually removed with a flick. There was an extra crunch in everyone’s step. Did you know 1.5 million cicadas can live in a single acre of a forest?

I lived where I live now, surrounded by woods, and I could hear the deafening buzz (apparently the loudest of all insects) from inside my house. While I began the summer with terrified shrieks at every sighting, I eventually responded to them with a nonchalant brush-off.

Looking back, I can’t believe how gross it was or how normal it seemed. I’m glad I won’t have to live through that again. Still, not really appreciating the reminder. I feel haunted. What is going on?


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3 responses to “The Plague

  1. Robin

    Wow, that is disgusting.

  2. Kendra

    Ask Al Gore, but I bet the cicadas’ timing is all jacked-up due to global warming. 🙂

  3. Jen

    I remember. Courtney and I joked about making a cult style film about the experience. Good times, Nature.

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