We’re coming to the end of the latest cicada season in Ohio. This morning as I took a lap around Schiller Park I saw one of the dying cicadas on the sidewalk, on its back, with its ugly insect legs feebly waving in the air. I put a key next to it so people who don’t live in cicada territory could get an idea of its huge size — much larger than flies or bees or the other bugs that we see every summer.
In the Midwest, cicadas are just part of the cycle of life. They’re weird, enormous, prehistoric-looking insects that emerge every few years, hang out in the trees and make a screeching racket for a few months, and then disappear. While they’re here, though, you tend to think about how interesting nature is — that it could produce bugs that emerge only in 17-year cycles and then go away again.
When you think about it, there are other things that you wish would appear only once every 17 years.