The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Decline of the cicadas

Catching a cicadaThe 17-year cicadas are finally on the down-swing.  They started flying erratically through the yard about a week ago, and soon thereafter I began to see dead cicadas on the ground.

Slowly, the nearly deafening afternoon roar diminished.  The silence started on the hillside to the north of us where the first cicadas began their chorus, then worked its way around to the shadier areas.  There are still some cicadas out and about, but I suspect by this time next week, they'll all be gone.

Yellow chicken brothBut not forgotten.  As you can see from the color of the broth we extracted from our first set of broilers, that insect nutrition is going to continue to work its way through the food chain for months to come.  Maybe trickle down economics makes sense after all?

Our chicken waterer kept our flock refreshed with clean water in between bites of cicada.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Looks like you have a different brood of Cicadas than we do here in MD. I haven't heard any this year. But according to one of the online cicada brood maps, I may get the 17 cicadas next year.
Comment by Fritz Thu May 31 08:28:04 2012
I believe that is an example of trickle up economics- Nature gives you a huge boost near the bottom of the food chain, your chickens eat the cicadas, you export the cleaned and dressed chickens to me! See, it just keeps going up the ladder, not down.
Comment by Eric in Japan Thu May 31 09:15:15 2012

Fritz --- We're not actually supposed to have this brood here either. It seems to be a very small pocket of them, not even occurring a couple of counties over. For all I know, they're a species never before reported! :-)

Eric --- "You export the cleaned and dressed chickens to me!" Tricky, tricky....

You're totally right, this is trickle up economics. Much more effective. :-)

Comment by anna Thu May 31 16:37:43 2012
I love the auditory image of the silence after the cicadas. It is exquisitely poetic!
Comment by Maggie Fri Jun 1 16:18:37 2012
Maggie --- I guess the farm brings out the poet in even someone like me. :-)
Comment by anna Sat Jun 2 10:17:43 2012

I generally love the sounds of nature but I am so, so glad we don't hear those cicadas but every 17 years. They are deafening and enough to drive me crazy.

By the way, I love the Aqua Misers I ordered from you. I was surprised how quickly they arrived and how quickly my girls took to using them.

Comment by Aaron Sun Jun 3 09:32:15 2012

Aaron --- I see lots of references on the internet to folks who are driven crazy by these cicadas, but I find them restful. A bit like living by the ocean.... :-)

I'm so glad our waterer suits your flock as well as it does ours!

Comment by anna Sun Jun 3 11:29:21 2012

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