Wednesday, June 5, 2024

The story of Kabir and the cicadas


Conor O'Shea, left, his wife, Aneesha Dharwadker and their son, Kabir.

     Weeks pass, and still the cicadas come, more and more, louder and louder. In my leafy suburban paradise, toward evening, the background whir revs up into a maddening whine, like nature's insectoid buzzsaw ripping through the thin veneer of modern life.
The cicadapalooza coverage in the media has slowed, but too late: expectations were already raised.
     "We were following the news," said Conor O'Shea, landscape architect and father of two small boys, Kabir and Kieran. "We kept hearing about the cicadas coming to Chicago. We all decided to go to Smith Park to go cicada hunting."
     The West Town family visited the small green trapezoid and made a startling discovery.
     "There were no cicadas," said O'Shea.
     Entomologists say there are not enough venerable trees in Chicago.
     "We don't have very many old trees in the city so they won't be able to emerge if they have nowhere to live as nymphs," Hazel Fricke, of the Field Museum's insect department, told WBEZ.
     So the family headed to west suburban Riverside. O'Shea sent a report to the Sun-Times describing what happened next.
     "My sons collected shells, observed emergence holes, and brushed off cicada nymphs crawling up their legs," he wrote. "This morning my son Kabir decided to cut out your article 'Global Swarming' and brought it to his school along with some of his shells to share with his classmates at Suder Magnet Montessori, a CPS school at Damen and Washington."

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  1. Bless him. What a sweet kid. Knowing that there are people like him gives me faith in our future. Study hard, kiddo! You’re going places!

  2. I try to tell people.
    2 broods.

    I really don't care.
    Sap trees.

    Women. Cars. Humidity across the back windows.
    That was 2013, 2012, 1991, and more, a long cornfield ago in 1990.

  3. Awesome. Once in a lifetime.

  4. Totally adorable. And a newspaper reader. There is hope for the future.

  5. "They don't bite."
    I don't care - they crawl, with their nasty little insectoid legs - and sometimes they mistake me for a tree and they CRAWL ON ME. Arggh.

  6. Two total eclipes. 1803 combines later for avian delight flight in 2023. Supertall 300 meter-plus high rises most in Americas only outdone by superparent NYC. Next-up 8:30 sunsets over shimmering water. Hope you can see it as I have.

  7. Still bupkes cicada-wise in SE Evanston.

  8. Cicadas are merely a noisy annoyance. It's not the flying insects that really bother's the crawling ones. And the swarming ones. Multitudes of ants freak me out, roaches creep me out, and centipedes are the worst of all. My screams probably wake up the whole block. Fortunately, they travel solo, but even one is bad enough.


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