Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday 13th : Return Of The 13 Year Cicadas

If you live in the Middle Tennessee area you'll undoubtedly notice there's been a loud buzzing noise outside.
The ear-deafening drones of the 13 year cicadas have returned, and for the next four to five weeks, they'll be everywhere.

Cicadas live on tree roots underground for 13 years and generally arrive in the world by crawling up a tree trunk in their immature or nymph form. They crawl out of their shells, which get left behind on flowers and patio furniture, and initially have a creamy white, almost ghostly appearance, within days, they will completely morph into flying adults.

The noise, which is the mating call done by the males, should begin to increase, perhaps this week, as more cicadas emerge from the ground.

These unhandsomely creatures are not harmful, just so long as you don't mind them in your hair, on the lawn furniture, plants or anywhere else outside, however younger trees, and pets who eat too many of them, are susceptible to problems.

Cover up the potato salad if you plan on having an outside picnic in May !


George said...

I wish you would keep the cicadas down there off the Plateau, but I'm sure we will soon be hearing them as well.

Inconsequential Man said...

Now how come I get them year-round every year? I'd love them to go away for thirteen years!

Cozy in Texas said...

Thanks for posting the picture. I've only ever seen their shell and wondered what they look like. Usually by June the noise here in Texas is deafening.

shirley said...

What a fascinating story. I have always loved the cicadas and their mating calls. Their wings are just beautiful. I did not know they stayed underground for so long.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Inconsequential Man: Here in Tennessee we get both the thirteen year and seventeen year Cicadas.
They are not to be confused with Locusts although they are often called Locusts.
I wouldn't want to put up with them every year...sheesh. lol

Katherines Corner said...

P.S. I have your lovely blog on my cottages page at Katherines Corner :-)

Ed said...

Excellent shot! I'll look for some when I get home to Tennessee, great blog..:-)

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I had no idea you were being invaded! I think I would take them over the stinkbugs we're having! :-)) I hope you have a lovely weekend Jo!

Shine said...

So thankful they have not over-run us here in east TN.....although I've heard it's pretty bad not far from here. I can't imagine that even the noise from the cicadas could make that beautiful setting of yours any less dreamy at all:) ~~Blessings~~Shine

Diane said...

You know something? I often read about the 'sounds of cicadas' in novels that are set the south. Since I have never seen (or heard of) these insects, my silly mind just assumed that 'cicadas' was what they called 'chicadees' in the south. I always imagined the sound of chicadees in the books!


Barbara Anne said...

I don't mind the noise but dislike the carcases that amass in parking lots. Ick!

Interesting to see the cicadas up close. They are amazing.

As always, love your music!


Sandra said...

they are here to, when i was a child they came to KY in swarms and we almost lost our minds from the noise, they screamed 24/7 for weeks. i had not idea they were so pretty. have never got a shot of one of them.

Roxie said...

The wings would make pretty jewelry. No cicadas in Oregon, either.