Thinking Citizen Blog — Double Invasion Of Cicadas Not Experienced Since Thomas Jefferson Was President — in 1803!

John Muresianu
4 min readJun 12, 2024

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Thinking Citizen Blog: Wednesday is Climate Change, the Environment, and Sustainability Day

Today’s Topic: The Double Invasion of Cicadas — not experienced since Thomas Jefferson was President — in 1803!

There are two “broods” of cicadas — the “Great Southern Brood” which has a 13-year cycle and the “Northern Illinois Brood” with a 17 year cycle. The cycles last coincided in 1803 and will not again until 2245. “It’s like a graduating class that has a reunion every 17 or 13 years.” (Gene Kritsky, biologist).

Any experiences with cicada invasions that you would like to share?

Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.

“DON’T STING OR BITE AND ARE NOT POISONOUS” but…..

1. “A great food source for birds and are nutritious for the soil once they decompose.”

2. “But conceivably could make things slick.”

3. “If you have a dog that likes to eat them, it’s not good to let them gorge themselves on the insects because it can lead to intestinal blockage.”

NB: “The slits they make in trees can cause some branches to break, and the leaves then turn brown in a process known as “flagging.””

CICADAS LIVE FOR ONLY TWO TO FOUR WEEKS, MATING CALLS ARE LOUD

1. “A group of singing and screeching cicadas in a grove of trees can reach 70 to 80 decibels, similar to a vacuum cleaner.”

2. “When you’re closer to the cicadas the noise level can increase to to 90 to 100 decibels, which is louder than a food blender and lawnmower.”

3. “A large group of Brood X cicadas can reach 100 decibels, which is similar to a motorcycle or low-flying plane.”

WE’RE TALKING PERHAPS A TRILLION CICADAS — how to visualize that?

1. Each is a little over an inch long. Translated into miles a trillion lined up would extend to 15,782,828 miles.

2. In other words, to the moon and back 33 times.

3. But, the geographic overlap between the broods is minimal. Usually limited to central Illinois.

Up to a Trillion Cicadas Are About to Emerge in the U.S.

Maps of Two Cicada Broods, Reunited After 221 Years

What do cicadas sound like, and why are they so loud?

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

“Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

My spin — then periodically review, re-rank, and exchange your list with those you love. I call this the “Orion Exchange” because seven is about as many as any human can digest at a time. Game

A LINK TO THE LAST FOUR YEARS OF POSTS ORGANIZED BY THEME:

PDF with headlines — Google Drive

ATTACHMENT BELOW:

#1 A graphic guide to justice (9 metaphors on one page).

#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, (11/17/20)

#3 Israel-Palestine Handout

NB: Palestine Orion (Decision) — let’s exchange Orions, let’s find Rumi’s field (“Beyond all ideas of right and wrong, there is a field. Meet me there” Rumi, 13 century Persian Sufi mystic)

YOUR TURN

Please share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to climate change or the environment.

Or the coolest, most important thing you learned in your life related to climate change that the rest of us may have missed. Your favorite chart or table perhaps…

This is your chance to make some one’s day. Or to cement in your own mind something that you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart.

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John Muresianu

Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.