The Year of the Cicada

It seems that each year brings encounters with an animal that makes it memorable. Last year, it was swimming with manatee. One year it was watching sea turtles lay eggs and another it was watching the sea turtles emerge from their shells.

In other years, black bears, grizzly bears, killer whales and moose have made the year memorable. This year, we didn’t make any animal related plans so we were quite surprised when we exited our car at Platte River State Park in Nebraska to the racket of a cicada brood.

The pulsating buzz of the insects that emerged after spending 17 years underground earlier this month has created a lot of excitement for etymologists since the last time this species appeared was in 1998.

The trees were loaded with cicadas. The noise created was unbelievable. Apparently the “song” of the male cicadas comes from vibrating abdomens of the insects in hopes of attracting a female.

What a stroke of luck! We witnessed the Brood IV cicadas…ones that won’t be seen again until 2032.

Yes, 2015, is the year of the cicada.