“I was hit by a cicada during this morning’s ride,” I answered.
“Ouch,” replied my wife.
Nothing more need be said. It’s cicada season here in Virginia and the insects are out in force.
When I heard stories of the plagues visited by God on the Egyptians for refusing to free the Israelites, I was impressed at The Lord’s ability to conjure up these punishments. I can’t speak for the other plagues, but the plague of locusts no longer seems far-fetched. God simply timed the Jewish revolt with a cicada infestation. Since the buggers keep regular schedules, with various species arriving every seven, seventeen, and other years like clockwork, that wouldn’t be terribly difficult for the Almighty.
Cicadas are everywhere. Billions of them are in our trees, making a noise that sounds more like a flying saucer from a 1950s sci-fi movie than anything that occurs in nature. They have a habit of dying by the hundreds on our property, with special attention paid to our front porch. When they’re not dying, they’re either sitting in trees sounding like a UFO or flying.
It’s the flying part that is problematic. In your car, they routinely splat against your windshield, leaving a nasty mess. Guess what happens you ride a bicycle?
Congratulations, you’re right.
They are slow beasts with little ability to dart out of your way as you zip along a country lane. On today’s 30 mile ride, I had two ricochet off my helmet, two others attach themselves to my jersey and shorts, and one who came within a few millimeters of visiting my mouth and instead left a red mark above my lip.
I understand the cicadas will be around for two or three more weeks. They can’t leave soon enough.