Sunday, May 23, 2004


We're nearing the peak of the latest version of Brood X, Magicicada septendecim. At least, I hope we are.

It's loud out there folks. How loud? Well, yesterday I was mowing the back forty with my trusty Sears Self-Propelled (with the broken propulsion), and I could hear the cicadas over the sound of the lawn mower. True, the cicadas were pitched above the mower, but still.

American readers understand how loud that is. For others, who've never pushed a lawn mower, let's just say that a good 20-22 inch cut four-cycle engine is only slightly less loud then the group Megadeath from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. We're talking loud here. (A good muffler would add too much weight, it's a push mower, after all.)

In addition, the males are getting increasingly desperate, staying out late a bars, and getting home at 2-3 am. As a result, the singing is going on all night. At a reduced level, of course. Your average cicada is a nice, gentle fellow, who goes to bed when the sun goes down, and gets up when the sun does. Here that means about 5:50 EDT. So the noise is starting really early.

The end is in sight, however. Earlier in the week the front sidewalk would get 100-200 cicada shells a day. Today we've only got 40-50. So it would appear that most of the boys and girls have awakened, and are now beginning their "adult" lives.

It's interesting, I'll say that, and it's fun in many ways. But boy, is it loud out there.