It is happening now-the Cicada Summer. This is a picture of some shed skins on a maple leaf along our drive. I won’t go into detail here, as there are plenty of sites on the internet that cover this phenomena. Here’s a pretty good link. We are covered by Brood V which appears only every 17 years.
These insects have no natural defenses except large numbers emerging at once. Cicadas do not do any harm to agriculture, except to newly planted trees. And guess who started their own little orchard this year? Yes, Out to Pasture has given up most thoughts of coaxing vegetables to thrive under our hardwood trees, and decided to try a few apple trees in our sunny spots.
So what looks like a craft project gone horribly wrong-is just some nylon netting wrapped around our expensive dwarf apple trees. The danger is that a female will chose your little tree, open a slit in the bark to deposit eggs, and the tip pf your tree falls off. Mature trees have no problem losing the tips of their branches, but when all your tree has is one branch, and it is a dwarf to begin with, it could take years for the little tree to recover.
The short story of the cicada is that it lives under ground for 17 years, crawls up out of the soil, breaks open it’s carapace and grows a pair of wings, mates, lays eggs and dies. Yep that’s it. The local birds go crazy for them, your dogs eat them, the cats chase them, and the chickens consider them gourmet. We are experiencing the background hum of all of these beings trying to find each other and follow nature’s call. It’s kind of pleasant, at least this far. Cicada Summer is what is happening at Out to Pasture.