Tuesday, June 4, 2013

52 Ways to Use Your VRPS Membership: Week 23, Dealing with Swarmageddon*

* credit to:  http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/05/2013-cicada-swarm-guide/65101/

by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

In May, 1987 I was working my first job in a high-rise office building in Roslyn, Virginia - a mini-concrete spillover across the Potomac River from Georgetown (region X on the map below).  Trees and greenery were scarce, but even so, by mid-summer, they were everywhere.  And I mean EVERYWHERE.  My friend Lori and I innocently (or ignorantly) decided to lunch outside.  Mistake.  We gingerly side-stepped and crunched our way to the outdoor food court, made our purchases, and settled down to eat and chat.

One flew up her skirt, which she resolved by trapping it in the folds and smushing it.  She was mortified.  She released the fabric and the carcass dropped to the ground, leaving a stained spot on her skirt.  To this day, we send each other Facebook messages each time one of us sees the impending onslaught.

Here in Central Virginia, I haven't noticed much, if anything.  I've since been told that if you live east of I95 (i.e. the Coastal Plain), the soil is too sandy to foster the buggers.  West of I95 is a different story:  the eerie spaceship sound (the males trumpeting their availability); the windshield smacking with the kamikaze frenzy as they fling themselves around in dive bombing missions; the exoskeleton shells clinging to trees, garage doors, and siding.

This weekend is Free Fishing Days in Virginia.  Back in 1987, I recall trying to fish, but nothing was biting.  The fish were full to the gills (no pun intended) with the feast presented them in the 17-year cicada onslaught.  My question is this:  how has the invasion affected recreation activities in other parts of the state?  The beaches?  The mountains?  The in-betweens?  What's your story?

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