MY JOURNEYS

 

 

ACCOUNT SUMMARIES OF MY 1999 BROOD V OBSERVATIONS:

 

 

 WEDNESDAY, MAY 19th: Mohican Memorial State Forest (Ashland County, Ohio) - A dozen Magicicada exuviae are found but no live adults are seen or heard.

 

FRIDAY, MAY 21st: Brecksville Reservation (Cuyahoga County, Ohio) - Light emergence. Dozens of exuviae and a few live adults are seen. No song is heard.

Indian Hollow Reserve (Lorain County, Ohio) - A few exuviae are observed but with no living adults being seen or heard.

Wellington Creek Reserve (Lorain County, Ohio) - Only a couple exuviae found.

 

SUNDAY, MAY 23rd: Village of Wellington (Lorain County, Ohio) - A few exuviae are found on several trees on the west side of town on US Route 18.

 

TUESDAY, MAY 25th: Mohican Memorial State Forest (Ashland County, Ohio)  - Many exuviae and living adults (M. septendecim) found but with no singing due to cold, damp weather. Flocks of hungry birds are observed flying from tree to tree in search of cicadas. Some fungal infection is noted. No M. cassinii or M. septendecula are located.

 

THURSDAY, MAY 27th: Brecksville Reservation (Cuyahoga County, Ohio) - Some areas are now heavily infested with M. septendecim while other areas only have a sparse few. A few M. cassinii are also found amongst the population. Nymphs are seen emerging and some song is heard. Fungal infection is also noted as well as a few dying adults.

Hinckley Reservation (Medina County, Ohio) - A strong population is found with nymphs still emerging. A continuous chorus is heard. Piles of exuviae and dead adults are found beneath trees. No M. cassini are located. A couple families of Canadian Geese and one wild turkey are seen walking about and eating dozens of adult cicadas sitting in the tall grasses. The birds pay no attention to me as they gorge themselves.

 

FRIDAY, MAY 28th: River Road Cemetery in Lagrange (Lorain County, Ohio) - Many exuviae are found clinging to the trees and dismembered wings are found on the ground. No living adults are seen or heard.

 

SATURDAY, MAY 29th: Mohican Memorial State Park (Ashland County, Ohio) - An abundant population and strong choruses are observed.

Malabar Farm State Park (Ashland County, Ohio) - A few exuviae are found on trees and a few adults are heard occasionally.

Camp Conger (Huron County, Ohio) - A few exuviae are seen on trees located on Walnut Road.

 

SUNDAY, MAY 30th: F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm (Summit County, Ohio) - Light emergence. Exuviae and adults are seen hanging on bushes and weeds. Singing is heard occasionally. An adult M. septendecim is observed in a fight with an unidentified species of paper wasp. The wasp attempts to sting the squawking male cicada but the cicada manages to break free after the two of them tumble out of a bush. The wasp and the cicada then go their separate ways. (Sorry folks, this wasn't a classic bout with the famous "Cicada Killer" wasp. In fact, I'm not sure what provoked the wasp attack.... Neither was injured during the brief struggle.)

 

SATURDAY, JUNE 5th: Wahkeena Nature Reserve (Lancaster, Athens County, Ohio) - Light emergence with all three species both seen and heard. (This was also the day I finally got to meet Dr. Gene Kritsky in person! Meeting him was both a privilege and an honor...!)

Mohican Memorial State Forest (Ashland County, Ohio) - Loud, continuous chorus. Both mating and ovipositing is widespread. Fungal infection is also spreading.

 

SUNDAY, JUNE 6th: Populations of Magicicada are discovered in Seneca County, Ohio. Seneca County isn't traditionally listed as an emergence area for Brood V (Not normally back in 1999 despite historical records indicating otherwise). However, well established populations are found as far north as the Sorrowful Mother Shrine and as far west as Attica.

Sorrowful Mother Shrine (Seneca County, Ohio) - A light emergence is located... But the population is better than that of the Wahkeena Reserve and the Nature Realm. Exuviae are found on many trees and the continuous songs of all three species are heard. M. cassinii choruses dominate the evening hours. A few dead adults are found and only one adult has the fungus infection. Nymphs were still emerging in the late evening hours at approximately 2030.

Village of Monroeville (Huron County, Ohio) - A solitary M. cassinii call was heard with more songs noted just south of the village. Exuviae are found on trees located in the yards of private residences.

 

MONDAY, JUNE 7th: Sorrowful Mother Shrine (Seneca County, Ohio) - The song is loud and continuous. Deceased adults are occasionally found along the walkway trails. More nymphs are observed emerging.

 

TUESDAY, JUNE 8th: F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm (Summit County, Ohio) - Females are observed ovipositing in young trees while choruses are heard in the distance. There are a few nymphs still emerging.

Virginia Kendall Park (Summit County, Ohio) - Many females are discovered ovipositing in both trees and shrubs. Females are also observed ovipositing in living and dead branches that are both high in the trees and low to the ground.  Males migrate from tree to bushes and back into the trees while singing the entire time. A few of these migrating males landed on my shoulders to sing as I was photographing. One male was bold enough to land on my forehead and grasp my hair in order to sing a few notes before moving on. Mating couples are also found sitting on rocks and pavement. The choruses are deafening.   

Brecksville Reservation (Cuyahoga County, Ohio) - Countless females are found ovipositing in saplings and younger trees. Many of the branches are attacked and scarred. The song is loud and constant. Females seem to be less "predator foolhardy" and are quick to fly off in groups if disturbed. Some females oviposit in groups of 2 or 3 on a single branch. A couple females are also observed ovipositing in a dead pine branch.  A few females that were disturbed by another cicada or insect swatted at the intruders using their forelegs rather than abandoning their nests.

 

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9th: Sorrowful Mother Shrine (Seneca County, Ohio) -  Again the songs are loud and constant. M. cassinii choruses dominate in certain areas. Females are observed ovipositing in groups on young trees. If alarmed, they also fly off in these same groups. More dead adults are found along the paved trails. A few nymphs are also seen emerging.

I also completed a Brood V Seneca County mapping project on this date. A large, loud colony is found southwest of Attica just off of State Route 224. I also discovered about a dozen singing M. cassini in a privately owned woods located north of East County Road 62/113 and along County Road 308 in Sandusky County.

One solitary singing male (M. cassinii) is also heard just north of State Route 18 at County Road 308 just inside the Bellevue city limits in Sandusky County. Like Seneca County, Sandusky County is not usually recorded in the Brood V emergence area. Since no trespassing was allowed, I was unable to determine if the cicadas emerged in Sandusky County or migrated there.

 

THURSDAY, JUNE 10th: Virginia Kendall Park (Summit County, Ohio) -  Extremely loud choruses of all species is heard in the 90 degree dry heat. The urge to mate and oviposit is widespread throughout the area. Many males have become highly aggressive by disturbing already mating pairs and by attempting to "rape" unsuspecting ovipositing females. These unsuspecting females usually fled the scene in a hurry! A few females rejected these wannabe suitors by swatting at them with their forelegs, flicking their wings, or by dropping off the branch completely. Females were excessively ovipositing in saplings and younger trees. A few adults were also victims of spider attacks by becoming trapped in low hanging webs. More dead adults are found lying on the street and paved parking areas.

Brecksville Reservation (Cuyahoga County, Ohio) - Females continue to oviposit excessively in younger trees while fresh egg scars are found on many branches. Many more egg nests are found than on my previous visit.

 

SATURDAY, JUNE 12th: Brecksville Reservation (Cuyahoga County, Ohio) - Hot, dry, mid 90 degree day. The singing is very loud and constant. Mating and ovipositing is widespread and common. Dead adults are found underneath many trees. Honeydew occasionally sprinkles down from the overhead branches. Adult cicadas gather to feed on the branches and trunks of smaller trees. These cicadas occasionally secrete this "honeydew" from their abdomens which falls off like droplets. Small puddles or "pools" form on the branch where the cicadas have their mouth parts inserted. These cicadas resemble dogs over a water dish since they position their heads low to the bark and elevate their abdomens. Ants occasionally gather at these small pools alongside the feeding cicadas to snatch a drink of their own. Ants occasionally upset the cicadas, who swat at the ants with their front legs or by flicking their wings.  Another cicada boldly lands on my nose but quickly retreats. I also observed one cicada being devoured by a large spider on a web approximately ten feet off the ground. While leaving the reservation, I see a woman being frightened by a flying cicada in a nearby grocery store parking lot.

 

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 16th: Sorrowful Mother Shrine (Seneca County, Ohio) - All three species are heard singing but not as loud as the previous week. More adults are found dead along the trails and under trees. Groups of M. cassinii and a few M. decula are found feeding on a medium sized pine tree.

 

SATURDAY, JUNE 19th: Sorrowful Mother Shrine (Seneca County, Ohio) - Found a single mating pair and more dead adults along the trails and under trees. Many of the bodies have been decimated by scavengers. A Daddy Long Legs is also found feeding on a dead adult. One female cicada is found on a trail barely alive. A stink bug is attached to the cicada with its long beak inserted into the cicada's thorax. The chorus of all three species is reduced.

 

TUESDAY, JUNE 22nd: Virginia Kendall Park (Summit County, Ohio) - The chorus remains strong but slightly diminished from a week ago. The adult population also appears greatly diminished and not as active. Females are still ovipositing and one female is missing all the usual body pigmentation and has gray eyes and wing veins.

Pine Hollow (Summit County, Ohio) - Strong chorus with adults ovipositing in low brush and limbs.

Brecksville Reservation (Cuyahoga County, Ohio) - Hundreds of adults is found feeding on a single cherry tree and occasionally dropping sprinkles of honeydew. Both the number of living adults and chorus volume has also diminished here. Females continue to lay eggs thereby causing excessive "flagging" to the smaller, younger trees of this area.

Furnace Run Park (Summit County, Ohio) - A chorus is heard.

Hinckley Reservation (Medina County, Ohio) - Piles of dead and dying adults clutter beneath the trees. The chorus is still strong.

Indian Hollow Reserve (Lorain County, Ohio) - Many dead and dying adults are found lying under the paved picnic pavilions. One deceased female is located clinging to a branch with her ovipositor still inserted in her final egg nest. The chorus remains strong. Flagging damage is very apparent here. Many trees show signs of withering leaves from top to bottom. (Some damage is at heights of over 50 feet.) Branches are broken and dangling while others have already dropped and litter the lawn. The younger trees near the visitor areas have suffered the greatest. A few of these younger trees have no green vegetation on them and all the branches have turned brown and withered. These trees appear to be already dead. However, some females are still observed ovipositing in them and other nearby bushes.

 

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 23rd: Sorrowful Mother Shrine (Seneca County, Ohio) - The sound volume has diminished. I'm still finding dead, dying, and dismembered adults along the trails and under trees. The smaller trees and bushes have also suffered flagging damage but nowhere near the severity as Indian Hollow.

 

MONDAY, JUNE 28th: Wellington Creek Reserve (Lorain County, Ohio) - Flagging damage is also observed on many trees. Faint male choruses are heard off in the distance while females are located actively flying about in tall weeds. Expired adults are located under trees and along the grass trails.

Indian Hollow Reservation (Lorain County, Ohio) -  Adults are observed flying about from branches to branches with females ovipositing. Again, excessively damaged smaller trees appear to be dead and have completely turned brown. Females are still found depositing eggs in these trees despite the existing heavy damage. The chorus has weakened and piles of dead adults are found at the bases of many trees.

Carlisle Reserve (Lorain County, Ohio) - Flagging damage is also found on many trees. A few live adults are located sitting on the paved roadways. Faint choruses are heard in some areas of the reserve and completely absent in others. In these quiet areas, the branches are heavily "flagged" and the adult corpses are decimated under the trees. Only one living adult is found hiding near the ground on the trunk of a small tree. This adult has sustained a lot of damage and is barely alive. The adult also has but one of four wings left. The dead egg filled branches litter the ground.

 

TUESDAY, JUNE 29th:  Indian Hollow Reserve (Lorain County, Ohio) - Very little singing is heard. Piles of the dead and dying are much enlarged. The majority still alive are mostly female.  Neotibicens are beginning to sing.

Sorrowful Mother Shrine (Seneca County, Ohio) - Temperature is in the mid 70's. (Fahrenheit) Only the songs of M. cassinii remains strong and is the dominant sound of the three species. Solitary M. septendecim males are faintly heard. Several male cassinii are found screeching in panic as they are attacked by a nest of ants. These cicadas apparently had fallen to the ground and were immediately attacked. The poor cicadas fluttered about trying to escape. One was finally subdued by the team of ants. M. cassinii and a few M. septendecula are the vast majority still alive. Flagging done to the younger trees have become more apparent and dead branches are found on the ground. A Neotibicen exuviae is found clinging to a Weeping Willow tree.

 

THURSDAY, JULY 8th: Indian Hollow Reserve (Lorain County, Ohio) - No living adults are seen or heard. More dead branches are found lying all over the ground. There is a breeze and heavily damaged branches easily break off. There appears to be little hope for recovery for the smaller trees.

Sorrowful Mother Shrine (Seneca County, Ohio) - M. cassinii songs have greatly diminished but remain the dominate chorus. Solitary M. septendecim and M. septendecula are heard. There are very few living adults remaining.

 

FRIDAY, JULY 9th: Severe thunderstorms strike Northern Ohio with heavy rains and strong winds.

 

SATURDAY, JULY 10th: Flagging damage is observed all along the woodlands located off of State Route 99 in Huron County. Many dead, egg scarred branches are found lying alongside the road due to the storms the day before.

 

SUNDAY, JULY 11th: Cool, 70 degree day (Fahrenheit).

Rocky River Reserve (Cuyahoga County, Ohio) - There is patchy areas of egg laying damage along the paved roadways. No living adults are seen or heard. Decaying bodies are found beneath the trees.

Brecksville Reservation (Cuyahoga County, Ohio) - Much flagging damage is observed. Again, no living adults are seen or heard. Piles of decaying bodies are also found here.

 

THURSDAY, JULY 15th: Sorrowful Mother Shrine (Seneca County, Ohio) - Warm, 80 degree (Fahrenheit) day. No living adults are seen or heard. No bodies are found on the trails. One dead adult is found clinging to the side of a tree trunk. Flagging damage is seen but not at the extreme levels found in the other areas I've noted. More branches have broken off and are found lying under the trees and along the trails. The Neotibicen choruses are growing stronger and have taken over. Neotibicen exuviae are becoming common. One type of cicada departs and another takes over.... The Brood V phenomenon has officially ended for Northern Ohio.

 

THE FINAL WORD: As one can see, I put hundreds of miles on my vehicle this summer. I was on vacation from May 20th through June 13th and the majority of that time (95% of it) was spent either observing or hunting these magnificent insects. Am I crazy you ask?  That has yet to be determined.  I won't get to enjoy the Brood V experience again until I'm 46 years old. (How old am I? You figure the math.) These accounts are only some of the areas I found cicadas. During my travels, I found many other locations but only included those accounts where I made my own personal observations. Besides, these unlisted areas were all privately owned and often found with postings such as "No Trespassing." Most of the unlisted areas were out in the middle of farmer's fields where the colonies have been separated and broken down into smaller factions or “relict populations.” I thoroughly enjoyed all of my experiences involving Brood V and I will be searching out more Broods in future years....

 

MY FAVORITE AREAS IN NORTHERN OHIO (By Rank):

 

1. Findley State Park (Lorain County, Ohio) - Huge colony and a great location! The best I've ever seen!

2. Virginia Kendall Lake (Summit County, Ohio) - Another great area with a dense population!

3. Brecksville Reservation (Cuyahoga County, Ohio) - The best of the Cleveland Metroparks region.

4. Mohican Memorial State Forest/Park (Ashland County, Ohio) - Peaceful, but loaded with cicadas.

5. Hinckley Reservation (Medina County, Ohio) - Don't sit under the picnic tables... It rained with cicadas!

6. Indian Hollow Reserve (Lorain County, Ohio) - The best area the Lorain County Metroparks has to offer.

 

NOTE: There were many other areas but the above six locations are no doubt, the Northern Ohio cicada havens... Also, Kendall Lake, Brecksville, Pine Hollow, Rocky River, Furnace Run, and the F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm all make up the larger ecosystem known as the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area.