Wednesday, June 23, 2021

saying goodbye is never easy

Gosh, it feels like only yesterday when we first welcomed the 17-year Brood X cicadas into our lives... These screaming bumbling thumb-sized missiles came storming onto the scene around mid-May, and have endeared (??) themselves in no uncertain terms.

charles + his "foals," wishing it wasn't so freakin buggy out tho omg
Well. Ok, "endeared" is the wrong word for sure LOL. Just ask my teen barn mates who shriek like firecrackers every time they get dive-bombed by one of the things. Which, uh, is often lol. And, true story: one barn mate even started donning a bee bonnet as an extra layer of safety haha.

houston, we have a hitchhiker! 
But ya know, we've gotten used to the bugs. They're literally everywhere, on every surface, in every tree and shrub. Plus -- since they're such heavy poor flyers, they're always looking for a surface to land on. Preferably: right into the side of your neck when you least expect it. 

cruisin through the jungle
Honestly I was surprised by how chill the horses are with them. In my mind, the cicadas look and sound like horseflies on steroids. Considering how twitchy and panicky horses get in the presence of those big biting flies, I legit expected they'd lose their shit completely upon getting pelted by yet another wayward cicada. 

pictured: ALL of the cicadas. all of them.
But... Somewhat amazingly, that hasn't been the case. The bugs stupidly fly directly into the horses -- into their flanks, their faces, their ears, whatever... And the horses don't seem to mind or even notice lol.

every little tree branch - and i do mean every - is covered
It's been loud tho. Like, the kind of constant humming background noise that you almost (almost) forget about, right until it switches off and you realize just how deafening it had been. Like that moment when the timer switches off on a barn full of fans and suddenly everything falls silent....

which square on apocalypse bingo do these count toward?
I wonder if the noise has been having an effect on the horses tho -- sorta like how the noise from wind can make them more spooky since they can't hear approaching tigers or whatever (lol, beware the tigers of the Maryland wilds!). Maybe the horses are a touch more on edge bc of the constant screaming?

"omg" - charles, probably wondering why he suddenly can't hear anymore given the deafening cicada screams
It's hard to say, really. In any case, tho, after weeks of incessant buzzing and dive-bombings.... It's suddenly, quiet again. 

"the end times are definitely here" - charles
Almost like even the birds are a little subdued -- their weeks of gorging on the plentiful protein are maybe catching up to them with hushed little food comas lol. 

i spy with my little eye, another buggie along for the ride
It was blissfully rainy and cool yesterday -- with the steady drizzle rinsing most of the remaining little crunchy cicada exoskeletons off all the tree trunks and branches. But even in today's warm sun, there's just.... quiet.

let's definitely pretend like it's the cicada that scuffed up my nice french leather, and not my neglectful care lol
They're still here, of course. Lots and lots and lots of the cicadas. Bc dear lord, I really cannot impress upon you just how many there really are.

"just takin my pet cicada for a pony ride!!" - charlie, the bestest boy
But... It's apparent that their days are numbered. The plague is ending haha. The cacophony is coming to a close, for another 17 years lol.

for real tho, get offa me!
And I gotta say. I'm gonna miss the little buggers haha. 

cruisin death alley with another, screamin murderous warnings into his ear, no doubt
They're so weird and bizarre, and also, of course, completely harmless. Well. Ok, mostly harmless lol -- luckily this year while I know a few folks who had unfortunate surprise visits through open car windows while driving, I haven't heard of any actual accidents haha. 

did i mention, when you touch them, they scream at you?? lol
And it's kinda been a fun game to observe random strangers suddenly busting out aggressive dance moves, and guess "Hm, surprise cicada attack, or actual crazy person?"  

looking forward to a more peaceful - and quieter - day once they're all gone!
But ya know. All good things come to an end eventually haha. So long, Brood X, and god speed. See ya again in 17 years, if we should all be so lucky!!



20 comments:

  1. I was worried at the title but glad it's just goodbye to the cicadas. I can imagine the noise and how weird it sounds with them gone!

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    1. lol for sure -- after a point you kinda just get used to the trees screaming.... but it's nice not to hear the constant 'chrrrrrRRRRR!!!!!1!' sound tbh

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  2. Bye little friends!

    Very impressed with the number of photos of cicadas doing cicada things in weird places throughout this post lol!

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    1. lol that's weeks and weeks of pictures haha, and for every reasonably shot snagged, there were probably 5+ more instances where i was too slow with the camera hahaha. the little buggers have been everywhere!

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  3. Interesting with the horses, wonder if the pitch is different than the horse flies so they can tell. Thank goodness they can though, that would've been a miserable couple of months if they caused the same panic and flailing about the horse flies do!

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    1. omg, right??? charlie loses his ever loving mind when he's got a fly on him, he just.can't.even.omg lol... but that big ol' cicada crawling around on his ears?? nbd, even when it screeched at him LOL

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  4. But how many cicada derived foods did you eat? lol

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  5. I was worried when I read the title - you SCARED MEEEEE

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    1. ha sorry... i can't resist a little click bait erry now and again ;)

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  6. I'm not sad to see them go, but I definitely wasn't as bothered by them. Once I was used to being dive bombed, it was like, eh, they're not biting! I'd take them over biting gnats or flies or mosquitoes any day. And they're just fascinatingly weird little creatures...

    I did see some go for rides on XC at our last HT and a few even did some dressage tests.

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    1. agreed completely --- 1000% prefer these ridiculous red eyed prehistoric looking things to literally ANYTHING that bites lol

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  7. Your ode to the cicada did not convince me that I want to leave the Great White North anytime soon.

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    1. lol you can keep your 8 months of snow and ice haha; we'll keep the bizarre buggos lol

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  8. I was in Jersey 17 years ago, excitedly waiting to hear all the cicadas. I did not hear or see ANY. But thank you for sharing your experience so I could live it second-hand this time!

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    1. ha glad you enjoyed! their range is really kinda scattered -- like i don't even know if they actually get up into NJ?? such funny creatures....

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  9. Cicada infestation would very likely be the end of Eros. If he so much as thinks there is a bug near him, any bug, even lady bugs, he starts kicking and stomping like an angry toddler!

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    1. omg Eros lol... yea, he'd probably struggle a bit. these things don't seem to want to land directly *on* the horses, but they do buzz straight toward any tack or clothing...

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  10. We have to yell to hear each other over them here. They're everywhere. The horses don't seem to care at all. I actually find them sort of charming. Except for the one that got stuck INSIDE my sunglasses. I was too busy panicking to think of just taking the glasses off. Whoops. I'm just glad my dogs haven't decided to chow down on them.

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  11. Lol - I almost spit out my coffee thinking of the birds with food comas...!

    We have some here, but not as many (different spot in the 17yr cycle???). I was walking the dog on the lawn and was wondering what was crunching under my sandals. Turns out it was many wee exoskeletons. ewwww.

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