[NAFEX] Periodic cicadas

Ginda Fisher list at ginda.us
Fri May 16 07:42:33 EDT 2008

...... Original Message .......
On Thu, 15 May 2008 23:27:07 -0500 "Robert Stanton" 
<robert.l.stanton at gmail.com> wrote:
>>When we had the last major brood emergence, it was really eerie to
>>step outside and hear the singing of billions of these things -
>>sounded like something
>>right out of a 1950s science fiction movie about spaceships from Mars.
>Really neat, wasn't it?  These sort of events stand out in our minds
>and demarcate moments of interest in life.

Yes, watching and listening to the Princeton brood was one of the coolest 
things I've seen in all my time gardening.

>I would encourage all to either allow periodicals to oviposit and live
>with the results, cover with netting if absolutely necessary, or pay
>more attention to local cycles and plant new vegetation at a time
>sufficiently far from an emergence to not hinder your short-term

I don't want to make light of the damage they can do to young plants and 
valuable grafts.  By all means, net them.  But it's not nearly so bad as it 
looks.  If you had that biomass of leaf-eaters your trees would be denuded 
in hours.  The cicadas just prune small branches.  Fortunately, by the time 
a tree is large enough to be difficult to net it is large enough that it 
shouldn't suffer serious harm from the cicadas.

>From my experience with annual cicadas, ordinary black filament bird 
netting will provide some protection, but a finer mesh would be better.  
(the holes in my netting must be 1/2 or 3/4 inch, whichever is most 
common.)  It's not that uncommon for me to find a cicada trapped under my 
blueberry netting, so they have trouble going through, but the cicada got 
underneath it somehow.  If you could find 1/4" netting that would be 

>Enjoy your periodicals; you only get three or four in your life,

Having moved to a brood-free area, I will probably only get that one time 
in Princeton.     Sigh.  It was really really cool.  I also urge you to 
enjoy this show of natural abundance and exuberance.

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