The amazing life cycle of cicadas


Saturday Farmers Market vendor line-up announced

By Katrina Bush - For the Record-Herald



A few weeks ago, my sister-in-law from Virginia circled round for a visit before returning home from visiting her Indiana family. It was right at the time when the cicadas were predicted to begin emerging, and I wrongly supposed they would all emerge at once.

I saw the exoskeletons (the shed “skin” of the nymph) and a fair number of adult cicadas, but did not hear the “din” in the trees I expected. We walked at Deer Creek State Park, and they were certainly more noticeable there but, again, not the volume I was expecting. I have since learned that they emerge when the soil temperature reaches 64 degrees and head into the trees to allow the exoskeleton to harden.

Several weeks have elapsed and now we are surrounded by them, and the volume is amazing! I am fascinated with the rise and fall of the call, as well as watching the sheer numbers in the trees. They seem to truly appreciate the lilac and crab apple trees – or perhaps these trees, being smaller, are just the ones I am able to see their activity in. They do not appear to favor the evergreens, which makes sense as what they feed on during most of their 17 year lives are the roots of deciduous trees.

We watch them leave the branches and them come back, in amazing numbers and try to guess, in just one tree, how many there might be. (Thousands)? There are so many that they fly into me while I’m walking and each makes a shrill call as I brush it away.

A neighbor speculates that they are attracted to him in particular when he is weed whacking, because the ‘noise’ is similar to the one the cicadas makes. The dogs are chewing on something almost constantly in the yard, and I’m guessing their protein intake has increased substantially.

My brother John tells me that the year following the cicada emergence, the wild turkey populations swell as they gorge on this valuable food source. Our fenced chickens are most certainly engaged in capturing as many as they can.

I am happy to live in a wooded setting and witness this amazing insect life cycle, as well as learn from various articles (the Extension offices of various states are invaluable). We are fortunate that they are not related to the locust, who can bring such devastation; the cicada damage is mostly limited to twigs and small limbs where they lay their eggs (which is not known to be severe, as it is not beneficial for the longevity of the cicada for the limb with the eggs to die), and the decibel levels of the cicada mating song.

In cooler weather, are the songs muted? Will we be a little sad when the cacophony to which we’ve become accustomed ends? There are many cicadas with different cycles. This 17 year brood happens less often than eclipses, and is something to bring wonder and amazement!

The Fayette County Farmers Market is open Saturday morning from 8:30 to noon and is located in the municipal parking lot on the corner of South Main and East East streets in Washington C.H. SNAP EBT food benefit cards and credit/debit cards are accepted. Those using the SNAP EBT card for food purchases receive matching dollar “Produce Perks” tokens ($1 for $1) good only for fruits, vegetables, and food producing plants.

So,”buy one, get one” for up to $25 every market day. Five dollar coupons will be available again for Fayette County Farm Bureau members at each Saturday market—these can be spent at both the Wednesday and Saturday markets.

The following list contains the names and products of the vendors that expect to set up this Saturday. Other vendors may participate as well.

Cozy Baby Blessings (Nancy Cutter): Hand poured wax melts and candles, resin and clay earrings, crochet dish cloths and pot scrubbers and face masks for adults and children. Face masks on sale $3 each while supplies last. Handmade baby essentials including crocheted baby blankets and hats, flannel burp cloths and teething toys, bows and silicone bead and wood teethers.

Dill Family Farms (Andy and Paula Dill): Strawberries and local honey.

DSC Produce Farm (Darren Cox): Private label salsas (a best-selling bacon salsa, habanero bacon cherry salsa, peach salsa and Carolina Reaper) and salad dressings (tomato and bacon, bacon ranch, blueberry, raspberry) plus apple butter, apple pie jam, elderberry jelly, and jalapeno ketchup.

Engeti (Alana Walters): Baked goods including dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, cakes, pies, cookies.

Greens & Greenery (Katrina Bush): Potted herbs —lovage, parsley, sage, basil (Mexican, Italian large leaf, lemon, red rubin and “sacred”). Vegetable plants (tomato, sweet peppers, tomatillos). Annual and perennial plants that attract pollinators, including hummingbirds and butterflies. Local honey/beeswax products including beeswax hand creams, and glycerin and honey soaps. Buckeye candy.

Jim’s Premium Ground Beef (Jim Hobbs): Premium Ground Beef which includes steak, loins, chuck and brisket all in our ground beef, vacuum packed in 1#, 5# and patties 3/#.

Julie G’s Cookies (Julie Greenslade): Homemade cookies: sugar, ginger, lemon bars, chocolate chip, peanut butter fudge, salted caramel bars, cracker jack, and oatmeal raisin.

Persinger Produce and Cottage Foods (David Persinger and Julie Mosny): The Pie Lady –Local honey, cinnamon rolls, pecan sticky buns, oatmeal cookies, bun’s bars, cinni mini’s and cherry, rhubarb, strawberry, blackberry, apple, strawberry rhubarb and peach pies. The Jam Man will have blackberry and blackberry seedless jams, red raspberry, strawberry, strawberry-rhubarb, and red raspberry jalapeno jams, hot pepper jelly, rhubarb, cherry, peach, blueberry, Triple Berry, and no sugar added plum, and strawberry jams, as well as assorted Texas sheet cakes.

Tom’s Tool Shed (Tom McMurray): Tom will sharpen hand tools, mower blades, axes, and garden tools for a small fee.

Wood by DW (Debbie Welch): Wood crafts and sewn kitchen crafts.

Your Other Mother’s Kitchen (Don and Sara Creamer, 740-572-0134): Artisan breads, shortcake.

Bridge View Garden (Hunter and Lorelle Rohrer, 740-505-5125): Asparagus, lettuce, spring onions. Sweet potato plants and other gardening plants. Perennial and annual plants.

Cheryl’s Country Crafts (Cheryl Braun, 740-505-0068 ): Handmade wreaths and country wood products, and homemade soaps.

Cloud9D (Nicole Dougherty): Tumblers, slate photos and jewelry with lots of customizable gifts.

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Saturday Farmers Market vendor line-up announced

By Katrina Bush

For the Record-Herald