We had one “open” day in our “vacation” schedule and rather than sit on a beach or sit anywhere, I had it in mind to go looking for cicadas.
Cicadas are these really big, ugly, LOUD bugs that hatch every thirteen or seventeen years. They don’t bite, don’t sting, don’t do much of anything except hatch, grow, freak folks out, make a mess, drop their eggs into the soil for the next long cycle, and die. They’re hatching now and I wanted to find some.
The maps and reports I had seen in the last week said there were some sightings up around Williamsburg, with many more up near DC in Fredricksburg, and another cluster inland near Richmond. Up in New Jersey there are LOTS of reports of big outbreaks of cicadas, but that’s an eight-hour drive or more, each way.
I was going out driving today with the Long Suffering Wife and her Long Suffering Sister and the Long Suffering Niece In Training #2, so driving for hours to maybe see bugs wasn’t necessarily in the cards. We agreed to go up to Williamsburg and see what we could see.
Which was nothing. We had a very pleasant drive and made an appearance at the Colonial Williamsburg information center. The guy there acted like I was pulling his leg asking about cicadas, but some very nice folks in line behind me knew was I was talking about and suggested going north of DC. (Not going to happen.)
We tried over at Jamestown and a very nice security guard told us to keep looking. He knew what I was talking about, but hadn’t seen or heard of any in the ares. (The drive from Williamsburg to Jamestown is lovely, stopped and saw some really cool hawks soaring over the river and marshes there.)
I knew they were around – we had heard them, but not seen any, when I was out on a nature hike on Saturday. But with defeat at both Williamsburg and Jamestown, it was time for “Plan B”. There’s a wonderful winery in Williamsburg, along with William & Mary College, so we had a great lunch, some wine tasting, found a specialty chocolate store, and declared victory.
Good luck to all of the cicadas out there! Wish we could have said hello. Maybe I’ll be back to say hello to your kids in 2030.