Over the past week, I have been noticing some damage to the trees and shrubs in my gardens. They still look green and healthy, but there are numerous branches that look as if they have been snapped in two. Upon closer inspection, I realized the damage has been caused by the female cicadas.
Although cicadas don't eat the leaves of trees and shrubs, the females do lay their eggs on branches. The females have a "blade" on their tails in which they slice open a branch and lay their eggs in the opening.
The branches I inspected all had numerous splits across the branch. The branches that broke in two were too thin to support this sawing motion from the females. The branches actually look like they have been badly widdled with a knife!
After four constant weeks of cicadas, I am finally noticing a dramatic decrease in the number swarming around the gardens. Every day the driveway and the sidewalk are covered with dead cicadas, not to mention the dead ones under the trees. We may finally be at the end of this 17 year cycle.
Makes me glad they only come once every 17 years!
This Week's Oz Short Story
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