Tuesday, May 21, 2024


I live in central Alabama, and there’s only about two months of early spring that you can actually enjoy sitting on your back porch in the morning, sipping your tea with your pup lying next to your chair. After that it’s chigger-mosquito central, and you surround yourself with bug spray and citronella plants, with clear fingernail polish dotting your arms and legs, not to mention the gawd-awful heat and humidity in late July and August.  But the year I lost about three weeks of that glorious spring time was when those cicadas came out after living underground for about 100 years, more or less.

I am a cicada hater.  My apologies to those who marvel at their life spans, their tastiness, and what some people call beauty. Whatever. I lived in cicada central when that double brood emerged, and it was nothing but a big frustration.  At first I thought someone was sawing down a tree off in the distance.  I live in a semi-rural area.  It didn’t take long to realize that if there’s a tree in Montevallo that thick, it would be illegal to cut it down, because Montevallo is a tree sanctuary.  But after a day or so, that noise was obviously something else.  It got louder and louder and the horrid creatures were having a party on my patio.  More like an orgy, and it was gross.  My dog learned to be horrified, too. If there was one near the back door at night, she would refuse to go out, looking up at me with bewilderment. We would go out in the morning, because she had to, and by the time we came in our ears were ringing after the cicada noise. 

At first, I collected them in baggies and threw them in the trash, but after about three days, my house reeked, so I took the bags to the trash bin and never did that again. Then two or three times a day I’d either spray or blow the creatures from hell (they came from underground, you know) off into the back yard. Many of them were dead and most had that hallucinogenic fungus that made them hyperactive, oversexed, and bisexual. I googled if you could get high from eating the fungus that caused their butts to fall off, but it was discouraged. Not that I would do that, I was just curious. Once a cicada shell got tangled in my dog’s hair and fell off after she came inside.  She kept barking, and I thought she was just being her nosy-neighbor self, but there she was in the living room, barking at the floor. I disposed of it immediately.  

After about two weeks, I walked out on the porch into the cool morning, and the cicadas had moved further from my house, and the sound was no longer deafening. But those diaphanous cicada wings were ripped from their bodies, which were in segmented pieces, and red eyes were gone, and that white stuff in their bodies was nowhere to be found.  That’s because the squirrels found them. In fact, we observed one from the living room window chomping away, while it sat on the back porch. My dog was fascinated. I still had to blow off the porch to get rid of the body parts, though. 

Then the cicada sounds got what seemed like way in the distance, and lots of dead cicadas were all over the yard, their orgies complete. I figured that the brood was dying off, making less sound now, since they were dead all over the yard; and those that were still alive, were the awkward guys, who could only attract the unpopular gals or the guys who were still trying to make it with other guys.  It was finally coming to an end, and I decided that if I’m still living around 2035, I’ll be making plans to put my house up for sale, because they’ll be back in 2037.


May 21, 2024



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