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Sorrowful mother shrine

2016 summary







LOCATION: Sorrowful Mother Shrine located 6 miles south of Bellevue, Seneca County, Ohio.


SUNDAY, MAY 8th:  There are numerous chimneys and exit holes under conifer trees, especially near an outdoor pavilion.  I also locate several tunnels under a few medium sized decorative boulders. 

MONDAY, MAY 23rd: Still plenty of chimneys and exit holes but no signs of adult activity.

FRIDAY, MAY 27th:  The first adults and exuviae of M. septendecim are discovered on some trees near the entrance to the property.  There are more adults and cast skins occupying the grasses after an apparent light emergence overnight. 


SATURDAY, MAY 28th: Overcast humid day.  The temperature remains at a steady 76 degrees during my visit.  There is a light emergence throughout the property and walking trails.  Some birds are seen swooping up helpless cicadas clinging to the tree trunks.  I'm locating mostly M. septendecim with M. cassinii being less frequent.  Some newly emerged individuals were crowding a "Stations of the Cross" structure near a walking trail entrance.   There are now a lot of emerging nymphs, teneral adults, and imagines cluttering the grasses near the main entrance.  I had to be careful walking so as not to crush any.  Some individuals are strong fliers and a solitary M. septendecim male attempted to sing near the chapel.

FRIDAY, JUNE 3rd: Cool 62 degree morning but sunny.  There was a heavy emergence overnight continuing late into the morning hours.  Loud chorusing is heard as early as approximately 0630 hours which increases as the morning goes on.  All 3 species are heard.  Many adults, nymphs, and exuviae litter the paved trails making walking difficult.   There appears to be an equal amount of emerging M. cassinii and M. septendecim.  A single mating pair of M. cassinii are located in the grass under a conifer.   By 1109 am, the chorusing is extremely loud as church patrons are entering the Shrine's chapel for the 11 o'clock mass. 

SUNDAY, JUNE 5th:  After a day of heavy rains, the emergence is strong but not as large as it was on Friday the 3rd.  The chorus is loud and drowning out the sounds of the church patrons attending Sunday morning services.   All 3 species are heard with occasional strong separate choruses of M. cassinii and M. decula.    

MONDAY, JUNE 6th: Following a second day of severe weather, the emergence this morning was still strong and the chorusing of all 3 species grew louder as this day warmed up.  The Shrine's grounds men are having difficulty keeping up with the amounts of adult cicadas and exuviae that continuously clutter their walking trails.  Numerous adults are observed blanketing and feeding upon several small trees near the main entrance to the property.  Female cicadas have begun ovipositing in younger trees, especially oaks, and in some bushes.  Thousands more are observed occupying and flying about the branches of larger trees.    

TUESDAY, JUNE 7TH: Cool, cloudy afternoon in the mid-sixties.  Singing is minimal with spikes in their volumes only when there are temporary breaks in the cloud cover.   The adult cicadas are somewhat inactive compared to the previous visits.  I'm now finding dead adults lying on the paved trails.   Emergences from the previous evenings appear to have diminished.

THURSDAY, JUNE 9th:  Cool, partly cloudy morning with temperatures in the low fifties at 0730 hours.  No new emerging is found.  Chorusing is initially faint but increases as the morning sun filters through the cloud cover.  A mating pair is found on one of the trails and I'm observing fresh nests in several small trees and bushes.  The damage is not yet severe enough to cause flagging.  More recently deceased adults are also observed lying on the trails and ground.   Many of the exuviae are no longer clinging to the trunks but encompass the ground surrounding the trees.

FRIDAY, JUNE 10th: Warmer, partly cloudy morning in the mid-sixties.  There was a moderate emergence this morning where the tenerals were under attack by birds and squirrels when I arrived at 0730 hours.   The squirrels were also eating crippled adults in the grass and a pair of squirrels chased one another up some trees and disturbed the tenerals and imagines positioned there.   More deceased adults are found along the trails as well as numerous crushed individuals.  Some had died while trying to eclose on a flat surface.  The chorusing is strong and the females are ovipositing in branches with pre-existing nests.

MONDAY, JUNE 13th: Cool sunny morning in the mid-fifties.  Chorusing is heard with more egg nests found as well as the first "flagging" damage.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15th: Hot humid 90 degree day.  Cicada activity was at its peak with loud choruses as they flew about from tree to tree to sing or lay eggs. Majority of the females I seen ovipositing were M. cassinii.  There were many new egg nests observed in branches that already had pre-existing nests noted from my previous visits.

THURSDAY, JUNE 16th: Partly cloudy 81 degree morning at 1100 hours.  Another strong steady chorus hums throughout the woods.   Cicadas are actively feeding in large numbers with their rostrums buried in the bark but are quick to take flight when startled.  Females are busy at work constructing nests.

TUESDAY, JUNE 21st: Clear mild day in the mid-seventies.  The chorusing has diminished with continued ovipositing by females.  Deceased adults are found on the ground and on the trails.  Flagging damage is becoming more apparent with a few broken limbs lying in the grasses.


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22nd: Cloudy day in the low eighties.  Ovipositing females remain busy while chorusing centers of M. cassini have become deafening in some areas.  A willow tree beside a pond had a M. cassinii chorus so loud, my ears were hurting after being exposed to it for only a few minutes.  I estimate the volume to be the equivalency of a rock concert! 

FRIDAY, JUNE 24th: Mild sunny day in the mid-seventies.   Both the overall population and singing has diminished even more.  The adults found are mostly M. cassinii which are resting or feeding on the low branches of trees.  They are still alert and flee if approached too aggressively.  I also locate the first individual with fungal infection inside the Shrine.  Flagging damage is very noticeable now.

SUNDAY, JUNE 26th: Hot hazy day in the mid-nineties.  Choruses are still strong with M. cassinii being the dominate of the 3 species.  Flagging damage is increasing as females continue their nest building.  Adults are becoming harder to find.


TUESDAY, JUNE 28th: Mild partly cloudy day in the mid-seventies.  M. cassini remains the dominate chorus with faint calls from M. septendecim and septendecula individuals.  M. cassinii is the only visible species found with the exception of a single M. decula perched beside some resting cassini.    Flagging appears to have increased due to some recent windy conditions.  A small oak branch breaks from high up in the tree canopy and lands a few feet in front of me.  Upon further inspection, I see multiple egg nests within proximity where the wood had snapped.  The overall population and chorus volume has noticeably lessened.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29th: Clear day in the mid-seventies.  The chorus is not as loud as the previous day.  M. cassinii make up the majority of the sound along with some isolated calls from the other 2 species.  Overall, adults are becoming harder to find with the exception of their decimated remains lying on the ground and sidewalks. 

SATURDAY, JULY 2nd: Cloudy mild afternoon.  There is flagging damage everywhere but I'm only able to locate one living adult.  There are isolated calls from M. cassinii and M. septendecim coming mostly from deep within the woodlands and on a few desolate trees. 

TUESDAY, JULY 5th: Partly cloudy hot day in the mid-eighties.   No adults are visible this day.  There are still some isolated calls high up in the trees from a few M. cassinii and even fewer M. septendecim.


WEDNESDAY, JULY 6th: Partly cloudy hot day in the upper eighties.  No change from the previous day with more isolated calls from M. cassinii from high up in the trees.

SATURDAY, JULY 9th: Partly cloudy mild day in the upper seventies.  Aside from a couple of calls from a M. septendecim and a M. cassinii male, the woods have otherwise fallen silent.   The remaining few are a minute fragment and a distant reminder of what their populations were just a few weeks earlier. 

WEDNESDAY, JULY 13th: Clear humid day in the eighties.   The annual cicadas have begun their singing as a lonely M. septendecim male calls out but receives no response.  He is probably the last of his kin that is still alive.   When his singing finally stopped, I thus bid farewell to the Brood V cicadas of the Sorrowful Mother Shrine.


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