Rare Photo Op

It only happens every 17 years and they are about to invade the mid-Atlantic region once again. This is the year of the locust and we are about to be invaded by a huge swarm of them. These big ugly prehistoric looking bugs, with bulging red eyes, have been emerging from their underground holes and will be feeding upon our orchards and forrests, filling the air with their deafening roar, and just generally causing a ruckus.

Bush and cicada The periodical cicadas — otherwise known as 17-year locusts — have begun to evolve from their underground life as a nymph and will soon transform into a large overwhelming buzzing mass during their mating ritual, leaving their big hulk of a shell clinging to the trees. “Cicadamaniacs” are busy writing cicada cookbooks and working to minimize the plant damage from the mass of these expected beastly creatures. Entomologists will be spending their days and nights studying this group of cicada, known to them as Brood X, which is the most important numerically and geographically of the 30 broods of periodical cicadas.

But this rare occurrence won’t last long. In about a month, they will disappear again to their underground world to suck on tree roots for another 17 years.

for more information on cicadas:

PHOTO CAPTION: U.S. President George W. Bush is chased by a cicada as he walks up the steps to Air Force One outside of Washington at Andrews Air Force Base, May 25, 2004. The nation’s capital is swamped with the once every seventeen-year appearance of the cicadas. (REUTERS/Larry Downing)