28 May, 2021

We're Buzzing About Cicadas

by Adrian

If you haven't heard about the cicadas invading the East Coast, have you been living underground for the past 17 years?

Here's what all the hubbub this season has been about. The Brood X Cicada is an endemic insect to Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, Ohio, and some other parts around these areas (though in fewer concentrations). If you're not familiar with the iconic image of the cicada - it's a hefty bug that has wide-set red eyes, large wings, and makes a loud song via "the rapid buckling and unbuckling of drumlike tymbals." Really this sounds like buzzing up-close on an individual level, but when you get billions (yes, with a "B") together the buzzing combines to make an eerie background noise reminiscent of 1950's flying saucers. They're also not the sharpest bug in the shed, and can often be found flying directly into your face, doing donuts on the sidewalks, and casually walking into predators mouths. 

This is a small sample in our neighborhood

Cicadas lie dormant underground for 2 to 17 years depending on the species, emerging in the late spring only when the ground gets to around 64℉. They shed their nymph shells, fill up their wings with fluid, find a mate, lay eggs, and then die or get eaten by pretty much everything. This includes a good deal of people who have been in a frenzy to make the best cicada recipes. Some say they taste like shrimp, some say asparagus, and others just dunk them in chocolate, because why not?  

So what's all the buzz about cicadas? Well, Brood X (10) is one of 15 rotating broods of annual cicadas that emerges along the Mid-Atlantic region but is THE MOST dense and prolific of all the broods by a large measure. In their most dense, University of Maryland estimates a cicada density of 1 MILLION per acre. 

And so to commemorate this once in a 17 year cycle (yes, we're a bike brand, we went there) we had some super fun t-shirts and stickers designed by Baltimore-based artist Kate Haberer.

We have both stickers and t-shirts up and the website. And just like the cicadas, once they're gone, they're gone. Well, until 2038 at least.

We also had a couple samples made for staff kids, and they were too cute. Should we do a run for nymphs?


Michael said...

"an eerie background noise reminiscent of 1950's flying saucers." -- exactly!!!! aint it the truth...

maybe the cicadas *are* from flying saucers...???

great shirts and stickers!! the logo on the front of shirt is particularly nice -- it would look good on the side of a bicycle cap...

S said...

Please do!!! Yes both kids and those of us adults for whom adult clothing is not made.....would love it if you made kids shirts!!!