By Dick Hall-Sizemore
It was spring, 2004, several months after our first grandchild had been born. My wife and I were visiting our daughter and family in Fairfax County. There was a loud, incessant buzzing, almost roar, in the air. Big bugs were everywhere; you could not walk without crunching on them. They were dropping from trees, sometimes on you.
I had heard of periodic cicadas, but had never seen them. It was simply amazing. I was fascinated. And, I thought to myself, when Calvin becomes 17, they will back. That time is now.
Brood X, one of the major 17-year cicada cohorts, is due to emerge in the Northern Virginia suburbs this year Reportedly, a consistent ground temperature of 64 degrees is their key to emerge. So, May is the month.
They do not pose a danger to humans. hey do not bite or sting. They don’t even eat the shrubbery. The only potential “problems” will be that some people may feel they are a nuisance — the noise and the omnipresent bugs and their shed husks. On the other hand, the birds will go crazy; it will be feast time for them. I have heard that dogs like to eat them, as well.
This is one of those shows of nature that comes around only every so often. Enjoy it.