This is the Year of the Cicada in about 15 U.S. states,*
As a fascinated biology enthusiast, I can hardly wait.
They’ve been living underground now for 17 long years,
Forced to suck on plant juice – instead of ice cold beers.
While they are here with us above ground, they seldom even eat,
They have only one thing in mind – an epic mission to complete.
They only live topside with us for about three or four weeks,
Then they die - extremely happy - if their mission is complete.
The male sings his soulful love songs to attract sexy mates,
The female lays her eggs, after their first or second date.
These tiny eggs hatch in about six weeks, and seldom are they found,
The nymphs are born, bury themselves, and head deep underground.
This species known as Magicacada, truly is magical to observe,
Right now, the nymphs are digging tunnels, and soon they will emerge.
In 17 years, this Cicada Creation Cycle will start all over again,
Hopefully, this unique miracle of life – will never ever end.
They are truly harmless creatures, and they never even bite,
And I find their slightly off key love songs to be a pure delight.
Many dogs really love to eat these chewy little critters,
Sophisticated cats, however, find them a tad too bitter.
I’ve eaten a few myself – when I was a small child,
They are crunchy and tasty, but just a tad too mild!
These days, I’d rather just marvel, and allow them to do their thing,
Love of any kind is simply marvelous – even to cicadas on the wing.
When you see them arrive this spring, why not try to be good,
Don’t stomp them, and smash them, like you normally would.
Have pity on this little creature, with only love on its mind,
When you were deeply in love - wasn’t your life divine?
*This year's population (17-Year Brood [Year-Class] X) is the largest of the 17-year broods, with cicada emergences expected in fifteen states (Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia).
They should attract lots of attention, since several important metropolitan areas (including the nation's capital) fall within the distribution of Brood X.
Cicadas are often confused with locusts, which are members of the grasshopper family, and which can be quite destructive to food sources. Cicadas are harmless.
Magicicada adults have black bodies and striking red eyes and orange wing veins, with either a ‘W’ or a ‘P’ near the tips of the forewings. An old folk tale states that if you observe a ‘W’ on their wings war is imminent, and a ‘P’ means peace is imminent.
Cicadas emerge in May and June. And, there are also 13-Year Broods of cicadas.
If you're interested in observing this unique miracle of nature, now is the time, since no cicadas are expected to emerge in 2005 or 2006.