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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Trying This Video Thing Again

This is the sound of the thirteen year locusts when you have thirty-seven trees in your yard. (if the video works this time) If you can't get it to work try this link to youtube

This year is the year of the thirteen year locust in Illinois. For those of you who may not have experienced this phenomenon, it is a sound to behold.

These little critters come out in mass once every thirteen years. I'm not completely sure how the whole process works, but here are the basics. Once every thirteen years, these locusts who have been underground dig their way to the surface. They climb into the trees. They make a whole heck of a lot of noise, and mate. They shed their skin, leave a big mess and die, leaving even a bigger mess.

The birds and other insect eaters, get very fat and happy.

The last time they came to visit, we were in Iowa. I think they come in a different cycle there. Joshua, was seven or eight. He had been fascinated with these strange and new creatures. We went on a lot of walks in the woods and heard the loud humming most of the summer. Then one day we went for a walk at Walnut Woods State Park in Des Moines. The locusts were starting to die. There were locusts all over the ground, some already dead. some still dying. Josh, not ready for the end of this experience was trying to save the little guys. He would carefully pick up a locust that was on the ground still moving. He gently placed them back on the tree they had fallen from. Once he was satisfied that locust was safe he would move on to the next.  He was determined to save these rather disgusting looking bugs. I didn't have the heart to tell him his mission was doomed to fail. We spent the better portion of that afternoon saving locusts. Valerie was disgusted by the whole thing, the crunching of the carcasses under her feet grossed her out. Alyssa, helped Josh, but I think she was pretty disgusted too.

1 comment:

  1. Getting very frustrated with trying to post videos and them not working