New Generation

cicada

Thirteen year cicada

It started innocently enough, the low hum of what sounded like a weed eater in the distance. Two days later they were impossible to miss, dead all over the road in some places, entirely absent in others. The low hum graduated into what could be the soundtrack for Armageddon minus the wailing (of course). The airport pales by comparison, even on Friday afternoon.

cicada holes

These mature holes are from previous generations of cicadas. A swarm of bees also used them this year to tap the tree.

About two months ago, there was a swarm of bees (for the first time in ten years) in my front yard. They drained sap from the many (cicada) holes in my maple tree. I was worried since it’s such a huge tree. It looked like it was bleeding into the grass for about four or five days. Now I wonder if the bees somehow played a part in getting all this started. Did they come along and tell the cicadas their thirteen years was up, that it was time to rise and shine? Did they open up the holes so the cicadas wouldn’t have to work so hard to lay their eggs? Did the holes left in the ground when these thousands of bugs emerged aerate the soil enough to let this rain flow straight to the roots? Will my tree to live another thirteen years because of that? Or will it die a slow painful death from this latest assault? So many questions, I’m not even sure Google can handle it.

After spending thirteen years posted in the roots of an old Maple tree two cicadas meet up and shed their exoskeletons together.

cicadas

No longer under ground, this thirteen year brood of southern cicadas emerged the second week of May in Nashville