Wednesday, May 10, 2017

cicadas appear when none should be

Fresh from the ground this morning. Photo by Jen Roder

Stop the presses! Nature is amazing!

Brood X emerging at Ijams...four years early!

Recently we have noticed a few small, black cicadas around Ijams. For those of you that know anything about cicadas, this might seem strange. Why, you ask? Because the small black cicadas are periodical cicadas that only emerge every 17 years here in Knoxville. We are in the range of Brood X, a population of cicadas that isn't due to emerge until 2021. 

But there is a known phenomenon of "straggler" populations that emerge early, depending on the weather and soil conditions. And that is happening now! As Ijams' favorite senior naturalist and self-confessed ten-year-old (c'est moi) just quipped, "this is so dang cool!"

I wrote an entire chapter about periodical cicadas and Brood X in Natural Histories, my first book published by the University of Tennessee Press. It's a topic I am pretty passionate about.

If you want to learn more, join me this Sunday, May 14 at 2 p.m. for a pop-up program that will teach you about cicadas and even take a walk to observe the periodical cicadas in action! I'm even going to serve ice-cold cicada-ade (made from limes) to refresh us. You won't want to miss this only happens once every 13-17 years and who knows if I will be around that much longer?

For program information and registration, click here:…/ijams-pop-up-program-brood-x-cicadas-at…/

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