Thursday, May 26, 2011
Last night I took the dog outside and quickly revised my plan. I waited for her indoors, watching from a comfortable distance behind glass. No matter how carefully I watched my footing I couldn't step anywhere on our front porch or driveway without crunching cicadas: dead, alive, nymphs, adults, and beasties in transition.
Every day this week I've been convinced we've hit the peak of cicada season, only to be surprised the next morning.
Today I opened the shades to see the air between my house and my neighbor's thick with the things, flying everywhere.
I'm not afraid of cicadas. They're big and ugly and noisy, but they're essentially harmless to people, pets, and plants. But things are getting a bit crazy here. I don't mind seeing a few empty insect husks clinging to tree bark.
But we have thousands of them and they're everywhere. These bugs are as big as my thumb. They move unpredictably. Yesterday I found one in the car, hanging out on Teddy's baby sling. Today I found one chilling on his car seat, just above his head. They have the creepiest bright red eyes. I'm not precisely afraid of them, but I'm still a little uncomfortable walking over a bunch of them while wearing a skirt.
And I'm pretty tired of carrying Ada to and from the car. She can't stand our cicadas. She woke up in fear twice last night and she can explain exactly why. She understands the life cycle of these bugs; she knows they can't hurt her. "But those red eyes!" It's hard to argue with that since I agree. Ellie just flicks the bugs aside when they get in her way.
Paul goes out twice a day to sweep them off the walk. This afternoon he pulled out the leaf blower and spent 20 minutes delousing our porch. (There were at least 50 mature bugs hanging on the post just outside the front door.) Then the storms rolled in. Ada suggested that perhaps a tornado could whip away the insects.
I see fewer out tonight than last. Perhaps we really have crested the peak of cicada season this time . . .
Credit for the first picture (Red Eyes) goes to my brother-in-law, Rob Monroe. The other shots are Paul's.