THE CICADAS ARE HERE!!!!!
Brood XXIII, a 13-year brood, has emerged! This is exciting!
I began this post on the 17th– four days ago. At that time we’d been hearing the cicadas for about a week or so. If you’ve never heard the din of a periodical cicada emergence, your life is impoverished in ways I cannot even begin to describe.
Most are familiar with the calling of annual cicadas– those which have a life cycle of one or two years. Both the calling and the life cycle of periodical cicadas are entirely different. The males call from sun up to sun down, stopping only when it rains– and I’m not certain I believe that last part. Here on the Farm the low noise is in the background of everything we do outside.
- Take the dogs to the pasture, hear the cicadas.
- Walk to the mailbox, hear the cicadas.
- Plant some seeds, hear the cicadas.
- Pull a weed, hear the cicadas.
- Feed Tiger, hear the cicadas.
I’ll stop at five examples because five is a prime number and prime numbers are way cool and it’s long been hypothesized that the 13 and 17 year life cycles of Magicicada spp. evolved to “outsmart” potential cicada predators. It’s one of the best just-so stories in all of evolutionary biology. Of course, the best part is that it’s not a real hypothesis because it’s just not possible to design experiments to test just-so stories.
That said, it is an amazing story.
Read more about it at Magicicada.org. Scroll down past the new information for 2015– an Extra-Ordinary year!– to the general information.
And don’t forget! This month’s neglected
Crappy Old Book of the Month is Science in Your Own Back Yard.
As I have a back yard of some small acreage, I think I’ll take the dogs on a walk tomorrow and see how many Magicicada exuvia we can collect. And check the dewberry progress while we are at it.