Weekly Chat (Non-Osprey), 6 June 2021

HAPPY NEW WEEK and HAPPY SOLAR ECLIPSE!

I hope everyone has a fun and joyful week!

The Cicadas are now singing their high-pitched, rattle-screeching song from all the trees on my patch. The noise is overwhelming! I've been turning the radio up indoors, because the ebb-and-flow of their continuous screaming becomes mind-numbing. I revere all Earth's creatures, but I'm glad these critters only visit every 17 years.

On Thursday, 10 June, a rare Ring-of-Fire Solar Eclipse will occur. Most people won't be able to see the full eclipse with the fiery ring live, but you can watch a partial eclipse if you go outdoors. The partial eclipse is visible in the U.K. I will see part of the partial. Bjane will see a short partial eclipse. Annette and AQ won't be able to see the eclipse at all, unless you watch it online. 

Insert the name of your nearest town/city in the Eclipse Lookup box on this page for the eclipse times and visibility in your location. The page also provides info about this eclipse. The website, Time and Date, is safe.

You can watch a live stream of the full RING-of-FIRE Eclipse online HERE. Also at Time and Date.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that you'll need eye protection if you watch this week's solar eclipse. I'm sure most folks know that eye protection is required for any solar eclipse, but this is a public forum and I felt a responsibility to include the warning.

  • Hi there and thank you Diane . Good luck with those cicadas; Do they go all night? Do you have earplugs?
  • Annette: The cicadas screech all day, and they quit at sunset. The raccoons are waddling around with their stomachs extended, full of the bugs. The Carolina wrens in my yard have been eating them all day and are joyful. I saw a skunk eating one and a squirrel.

    I'm not afraid of the cicadas (some people are really creeped out by them, and the bugs can be quite large), but the noise bothered me today. I hate to wear earplugs. They make me feel dizzy and claustrophobic, as well as unsafe (because I can't hear if someone tries to break in). I keep turning up the radio. LOL

  • DIANE – How long are the cicadas likely to be around? Weeks? Months?
  • Just a thought

    The greatest gift is a portion of thyself. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

  • Good morning, and thanks to Diane for starting us off, under duress! Hope it only lasts for a few days, Diane! (one of the wonders of nature, though!)

    A bit grey here but still pleasantly warm.
  • In reply to aquilareen:

    AQ: The cicadas were late emerging from the ground in Indiana, because we had a late spring snow storm and then a cold snap. They went back down into their tunnels to wait for the soil to warm up before they emerged. So, they'll be around later than usual this time. Their lifespan is 4-6 weeks after they crawl out of the ground. Here's what happens:

    (1) The cicadas crawl up out of the soil by the thousands around large, old-growth trees. There are so many of the bugs that the ground looks like it's boiling or bubbling as they all emerge.

    (2) When they've reached the surface, they latch on to the trees (or wood fence posts or anything else) and they perform a weird back-bend movement to molt out of their shells, leaving large piles of sticky shells on the ground.

    (3) In a few hours, their new shells harden and the males start singing to find a mate. The females click back at them using ridged membranes on the sides of their abdomens.

    (4) The singing grows very loud and then ebbs in a regular, mind-numbing cycle. Their collective noise is as loud as a motorcycle. It's been measured to reach levels as loud as a jet plane in old-growth forest environments.

    (4) Once the bugs have mated and the females lay eggs, the adult cicadas die.

    (5) The cicada nymphs (babies) crawl back down into the ground around a tree and won't return for another 17 years.

    Almost all wildlife consume them. Some people eat them, and restaurants have specialty recipes that they prepare during emergences. Cicadas are purported to have a nutty flavor and a crunchy texture. We're getting warnings from the news media that anyone allergic to shellfish should not eat the cicadas. (They're basically land shrimp. LOL)

  • In reply to aquilareen:

    Morning all
    AQ....always love your daily quotes

    Until maybe Diane replies,you asked about the NOISY (poor Dianes Miind and Ears.(Healing thoughts being sent)

    “The whole cycle of emergence, predation, mating, birth and death will take place over the course of about six weeks before the landscape again returns to its former state to await the next emergence in 2038.”

    earthsky.org/.../

     

  • Thanks DIANE & KATE for info. That loud! No wonder you are going crazy.

  • In reply to aquilareen:

    AQ: They climb up into the trees, and the trees are full of them. If you walk outdoors, they fall on you! LOL