Cicadas are a natural wonder

April 09, 2013

I remember the emergence of Brood X cicadas back in 2004 and hope to live long enough to see (and hear) them again ("Cicadas returning soon to Southern Maryland," April 8). These 17-year wonders should not be considered "winged pests" or just something to be "endured." Instead, they should be celebrated.

How any living creature can create a life cycle of nearly two decades underground is amazing, and their mating calls, though loud, last a very short while. And the fact that such a small insect can make such a din is in itself remarkable.

I'm glad folks (like me) who respect and admire insects are taking an active role in charting this upcoming emergence. Perhaps Maryland might capitalize on the re-awakening of Brood II with an interactive website for cicada enthusiasts worldwide.

One thing that must be examined is the way cicadas will be treated.

Last time in 2004, I remember the stories about people killing these creatures for sport. Also back then, some children created contests for how many cicadas they could stomp. We should be grateful we still live in such a benign ecology where these insects can survive, especially when you consider how much open land is now paved over and developed.

Let's welcome the Brood II cicadas back!

Rosalind Ellis Heid, Baltimore

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