Thursday, May 31, 2007

Welcome to the Cicadas: A Plague of Locusts in Wilmette

The cicadas are here in Wilmette, and they are gross. Scientists are calling those ugly looking bugs "Brood XIII," but I just call them "locusts," and I don't like them. Soon enough, they will be chattering at top volume all day long as they call to one another, and it will be enough to drive a sane person mad.

The ciadas show up every summer, and every 17 years they come in droves. They crawl out of the ground, emerge from their old shells, and can be found in every state of creepy crawly, along with plenty of empty shells.
This year, Cicada eating seems to be the rage, with teachers and zoo animals munching on the ugly creatures. While I won't be joining them, (reports are that they taste like almonds, although some say chicken), I've found a nifty little online cicada cookbook, very pretty, with eleven pages of cicada recipes along with comprehensive information on eating and cooking cicadas. Why not print it out on nice paper, add a good cover, and give it to a friend? It will make a great present--or at least bring a laugh. But eating those creatures? If you are what you eat, do that and you are going to be one bad-looking person. Seriously. You're not starving.
The Lake County Forest Preserve has an interactive emergence map--you can check your location and add information about how many cicadas you have seen. Of course, there's the mandatory Cicada Blog and, in the event you are a glutton for punishment, you can visit several area museums which have exhibits on cidadas.

With the midwest focusing on cicadas, the National Geographic has a new article, and the University of Illinois has a new cicada website.


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