The Cicadas Are Singing At The Susquehanna Wetlands
I drove to the Susquehanna Wetlands again last Saturday. When I arrived I was greeted by that wonderful Summer sound of the cicadas singing in the tree tops. Unlike their relatives , the 17 year periodic cicadas, these cicadas appear in mid-summer every year in Northeastern Pennsylvania. It was early, 8 a.m., when I arrived and noise from the cicadas increased as the sun warmed up the morning air. Soon the katydids will join the chorus of the cicadas. I love these sounds of Summer. But they are bittersweet. There appearance in our woodlands means Summer’s end approaches. Here is a link to a video I took of the the cicadas singing in the wetlands. https://youtu.be/yr1avqUjwK0
I proceeded on my usual hike in the wetlands and found another sign of the advancing Summer. The cardinal flowers were in bloom. I love seeing these bright red native flowers that grow in our wetlands in mid to late Summer. They were used as a medicinal plant by the Native Americans who lived in our area.
And, as I was leaving the wetlands, on my way to the river lands section of the nature preserve, I saw this snake in a small pond. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a good photo because of the plants that obstructed my view, I believe it was a black racer or black rat snake.
On my return walk I noticed the appearance of a swarm of eastern cicada killing wasps.
These wasps are not aggressive and they allow you to get very close as the fly from leaf to leaf. The males have no stinger. The females does and uses it to inject venom and paralyze cicadas. She then takes the cicadas to a tunnel, where she deposits eggs on the paralyzed cicadas. The eggs hatch and the larvae feed on the paralyzed cicadas.
It seems there are less birds in the wetlands on my last few visits. I didn’t see, or hear, any of the red-winged blackbirds that are so common in the wetlands and river lands. Summer advances and I wonder if they could already be leaving our area. I hope not. But the noisy calls of the red-winged blackbirds were replaced with the soothing song of the cicadas. Once again I had a most enjoyable five mile hike in this wonderful nature preserve, Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike in the wetlands and river lands. Susquehanna Wetlands, July 24 2021.
Again and again, the cicada’s untiring cry pierced the sultry summer air like a needle at work on thick cotton cloth.” ―Yukio Mishima