Wednesday, June 12, 2013

17 Years

In case you haven't been paying attention on the news (or perhaps you don't live on the self-centered East Coast), this is the year of the cicadas.  The much-ballyhooed "Brood 2" of 17-year cicadas has emerged and is singing their love song and leaving shells and carcasses everywhere. Including my yard.

Seventeen years ago, we lived about 4 miles from here in the next little town down the hill. My sister-in-law lived in this house, and my oldest, who is about to graduate from high school, was a one-year old.

 And that was the last time the 17-yr cicadas were out in New Jersey.  Makes you think how long 17 years is, doesn't it? I was going to add a picture of JC as a toddler, but it was long enough ago that THEY WERE TAKEN ON FILM.

Two people stopped by my house yesterday, and both of them commented a variation on, "Are they always this loud?" Well, yes and no.  They aren't noisy at night, and they get louder as the day warms up. And then another friend mentioned that she had a decibel meter app on her smartphone.  Ah!

They were at about 65 decibels at about 10am and are now around 75dB at noon. According to the app, that's a loud conversation. John thinks they sound like car alarms.

How many more weeks of this?


Shona Erlenborn said...

I was just asking David that question. It seems that they have been at our house for more than six weeks. You know how visitors are like fish? They start to stink after a few days. Well cicadas are just the same!! I've been avoiding doing yard work - still a yard of my 13 yards of mulch to spread, because now they are flying on to me!! GROSSSS! I don't know about your house Ann, but here, they are even smelling, as the dead ones are decaying! I'm done with them!!

Jocelyn said...

We have a similar phenomenon here with some sort of "army caterpillar," but it's every seven years...and, well, caterpillars may drop into your hair from every tree, but at least they're quiet.

Your perspective about 17 years is effective. I was left thinking, "Wow. Kids become men during that time."