I was starting to think this whole cicada thing was just a big hoax until this weekend. I still think it's a hoax, just not such a big one.
If you don't know the story, this is the year that the Chicagoland area is going to experience a cicada invasion of biblical proportions. These are the cicadas that live underground for 17 years and then come out, have sex and die. They leave their nasty brown shells all over the place, then fly up in the trees, make a lot of noise and just cause chaos in general.
The newspapers and T.V. have been all over the story; it's getting almost as much coverage as Lindsay Lohan going to jail. They all agreed that May 22 was going to be the big day; the cicadas were going to emerge from the dirt and have their way with our beautiful suburban ecosystem. Well, May 22 came and went, and I didn't see one stupid cicada. I got all riled up for nothing. I'm not sure whose fault it was really; do the news people have no idea what they're talking about (likely), or are the cicadas just taking their sweet time? As time passed I started hearing a few stories of cicada sightings, but nothing monumental and all rather disappointing.
Finally, on Friday night, I saw my first live cicada during a bonfire in a friend's backyard. It was crawling up a little tree stump. I made the mistake of calling attention to it which set the guys off into a frenzy of cicada hunting in the backyard. They found maybe 8. I was led to believe we'd be scraping them off the sides of the trees, hundreds at a time. On Sunday, we saw approximately 10 cicada skins and a whopping one alive cicada near my mom's. She was rather excited and got some "amazing footage" with her video camera. Then I drove through Westmont which for some reason does seem to be ridden with them. The noise was quite impressive, but I'm not satisfied with the fact that downtown Westmont is the only place they seem to be. Where is the invasion I was promised??
So far the press is rather slow to admit what a huge disappointment this is. Probably because they're the ones that made it such a big deal in the first place and Lord knows they're not going to admit they may have exaggerated just a bit. I've only found one legitimate article (if an article from a DeKalb newspaper can be called legitimate) admitting that the "invasion" is not all it was cracked up to be.
Meanwhile, the Brookfield Zoo got their hands on some cicadas and is now feeding them to the animals. They're also providing video to make sure we are sufficiently grossed out.