It’s that time of year again… when the posts about the return of the 17-year cicadas start appearing everywhere on social media. Funny thing is, I remember hearing the cicadas at night in the summer every year. Their clicking-turned-buzzing was part of the magical hum of the nights of my childhood, so when I hear it again, it marks the beginning of the enchantment of summer. So how is it that they might now be relegated to every 17 years?
Time for homework.
Ah ha! I knew it!
There are always cicadas that come back each year.
Cicadas are grouped into roughly 15 broods: 12 broods of 17-year cicadas and three broods of 13-year cicadas. Each of these broods emerge in different years, so residents in cicada regions rarely spend a summer without them. On top of that, many other species of cicada aren't periodical but annual, meaning they emerge every year.
So yes, in addition to the murder hornets (and ants and mice that were part of my own personal battle… see my previous post about making face masks when those pests showed up at my house) and Spotted Lantern Flies (have there been any sightings of those yet this year? They should have hatched in April. Yeesh!) and stink bugs (though I haven’t had an issue with those), we will have cicadas.
Better yet, we will have lightning bugs! I have already seen my first one, though he was in my kitchen where he had hitchhiked via some Lily of the Valley flowers I had picked, and I didn’t get to see his magic as he flickers in the evening light. It was daytime, so I released him outside where he could work his magic later on.
Not sure about the rest of you, but I’m going to focus on the lightning bugs.
Lightning Bug graphic courtesy of www.compressmerch.com
When I went in search of a graphic for this post, I discovered the one above. Designed by CWPress, it’s featured on a t-shirt and… it glows in the dark! How cool is that?! You can purchase one for yourself at Lightning Bug T-shirt. #SupportSmallBusiness #MadeinAmerica
CWPress is located in Pittsburgh, PA. Very cool business that has lots of other fun stuff on their site. Check them out!!!
And here’s one more fun fact:
The State Insect of Pennsylvania is the Lightning Bug! Photuris pensylvanica, known by the common names Pennsylvania firefly, lightning bug, and (in its larval state) glowworm, is a species of firefly (I know, I know, CWPress... it's a lightning bug) from the United States and Canada. It is also widely known under the Latin name Photuris pennsylvanica, although the original spelling, with one "n", was common in Latinized names of the time and remains the valid name. (Thanks, Wikipedia!)