Cicada Mania

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June 6, 2007

Chicago Trip Wrap Up

Filed under: Brood XIII | Magicicada | Periodical — Tags: — Dan @ 7:35 am

Sunday I spent the day at the Ryerson Woods Cicada Mania festival. The Lake County Forest Preserve folks did a fantastic job putting this event together: they had music, fun for kids like face painting and a costume contest, and entertaining & informative talks by cicada expert Gene Kritsky. I spent more time filming with the Fuji TV crew, looking for more white-eyed cicadas (no luck), and exploring trails. At the very end of my visit I discovered a large emergence of cicadas out by the river between a footbridge and a cabin (I think it was called the Stokes cabin). Around 5:30 pm I heard a sound like boiling water; I looked down and thousands of cicada nymphs were crawling from the ground. The experience was sublime. I even found a brown-eyed cicada.

A big shout out to everyone I saw wearing one of our t-shirts!

There are more cicada hikes going on at Ryerson this weekend. If you go, I recommend you go to the cabin by the river. This weekend there should be plenty more cicadas to see and hear.

Monday I made it out to the Brookfield Zoo, which is about 25 minutes south of O’Hare. I read that there was a large emergence of cicadas at the zoo and that the animals were feasting on the cicadas — I had to check it out. When I pulled into the parking lot of the zoo the noise of the cicadas was overwhelming! Kids were screaming “CICADA” and spending more time looking at cicadas than the zebras and bears. Most of the cicadas I saw and heard at the zoo were Magicicada cassini (small with all-black abdomens). I don’t remember seeing any animals eating cicadas — maybe they’ve had their fill. The Zoo carousel had two cicadas rides! How cool is that?



This is an example of lousy photo composition. If I were smart, I would have had a zoo animal in the background to prove this was at the zoo:

Cassini at the zoo

More video and photos to come... check back often…

No thanks to Sony, whose Handycam takes so-so video and isn’t compatible with Macs, Best Buy for lying to me when I asked if the Handycam was Mac compatible, Apple, for iMovie which does not support muxed Mpeg 2 video (which is what the Handycam makes), and Cannon, for making a digital camera with a macro setting that essentially turns every photo into a fuzzy blob.

Nothing to do with my trip to Chicago, but here’s a link to John’s been posting this URL on the message board every other day. Maybe if I post it on the homepage, he’ll chill out.


  1. Sue says:

    Elmhurst, Ill. also has a lot of cicadas. It’s crazy here 🙂

  2. Muxed mpeg 2 says:

    Hello. You might be able to get your video footage to play back with imovie, by updating to Quicktime pro, plus buying the mpeg 2 playback component for quicktime pro, then transcoding the mpeg 2 muxed into mpeg 4, and importing them into imovie? I hope that this information does help you? Goodbye.

  3. Kim says:

    That is so funny. I was at the Brookfield Zoo on Monday
    with my daughter’s 2nd grade class on a field trip!! I
    was able to talk my daughter into touching a cicada, but
    her friend wanted nothing to do with them. My day was
    pretty much spent trying to tell her how “neat” they are
    and explain to her all the “cool” things about cicadas.
    Of course, she didn’t care!! My daughter said she saw
    a blue eyed cicada there. We did see some wild birds and
    squirrels chomping down on the cicadas, but none of the
    zoo animals.

  4. Melanie Wilson says:

    I have a Canon PowerShot S3 IS which has a macro and a super macro feature, which I’ve used to take all my cicada photos. I’ve had excellent luck with it.

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