Summer is hanging on for dear life in the South. The crisp morning air and chilly evenings are sandwich layers for days still reaching the 80’s and 90’s. But it is inevitable that summer will lose it’s grip and fall will be upon us.
The trees have started to lose their leaves and the summer insects are slowing down. Some are dying because their cycle only required mating and death during the summer. So it goes for the jar fly. Well at least that is what my dad called them. When you see them, or see photos of them a fly doesn’t really come to mind. However, if you happen to catch them resting with their wings slightly apart, they do resemble a giant prehistoric fly.
They are misnamed as locusts as well. A few come out of the ground every year but when the masses of the creatures come out of the ground to shed their heavy shell, it appears to be a swarm. Some have a 13 year cycle, some have a 17 year cycle. Rest assured when they come marching out of the ground, and shed their earthly casing, they do appear to be a swarm of something. The Bible talks about swarms of locusts. I suppose that is why they sometimes are referred to by the name of their grasshopper-like cousins.
They are not jar flies and they are not locusts, they are cicadas.
With all of the incredible monsters that have been created for Hollywood, it is a wonder we were never attacked by giant cicadas that emerged after a chemical spill. Or were we? They are certainly scary looking enough.
This year wasn’t a 13th year or 17th year, but there were enough cicadas this year to sing their song quite loudly while looking for a mate.
But their song is gone for this year. And without their summer singing it is only a matter of time before fall and winter are upon us. Even in the South…
Photos are from various free sites on the web.