DAILY DIRT: Sounds like we could be in for a brutal spring, thanks to those pesky cicadas


The cicadas are coming! The cicadas are coming! Photo by Michael Kropiewnicki:

Daily Dirt for Friday, Jan. 26, 2024

We’re going to be part of an occurrence that has not happened in 221 years … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 850 of The Daily Dirt.

1. Well, if you have yet to come across anything that might ruin your day, let me help.

An NBC channel in Chicago is reporting that billions of cicadas are expected to emerge this spring in an occurrence that has been described as a “once in a lifetime” experience — and Illinois will be at the center of it all.

The 2024 cicada explosion will see two different broods of cicadas — one that lives on a 13-year cycle and another on a 17-year cycle — emerging from underground at the same time.

This rare dual emergence hasn’t happened since 1803.

“While any given 13-year brood and 17-year brood can occasionally emerge at the same time, each specific pair will see their cycles aligned only once every 221 years,” according to NBC News. “What’s more, this year’s cicada groups, known as Brood XIII and Brood XIX, happened to make their homes adjacent to one another, with a narrow overlap in central Illinois.”

That means Illinois will be in a unique position for this unique occurrence.

According to an article from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne Extension, the Northern Illinois Brood’s emergence typically occurs in May and June, and lasts approximately four weeks. Although mostly harmless, the noise of the insects can be disruptive, the university said. Additionally, eggs from adult cicadas on twigs and shoots could cause “substantial damage” in newly planted orchards.

And the Northern Illinois Brood itself is huge, with a reputation for the “largest emergence of cicadas anywhere,” according to reports.

Reports indicate there would be as many as 1.5 million cicadas per acre, according to the University of Illinois.

Male cicadas can reach decibels similar to a lawn mower or passing jet, and their numbers will be large, but their life cycle is short, at just four to six weeks.

Cicadas don’t bite or sting and pesticides will not work on periodical cicadas, experts say.

OK … enjoy the rest of your day.

2. Most of us who finished off our teen years and headed toward adulthood in the 1970s have fond memories from that decade, including the music.

The 1970s arguably had the most major one-hit wonders of any rock decade ever.

Here are my picks for the best of those “one-hit wonders” from that entertaining 10-year period:

  • 1. “Spirit In The Sky” (1970), by Norman Greenbaum: Greenbaum said he was inspired to this particular song after hearing/watching country star Porter Wagoner sing some gospel tunes on TV.
  • 2. “Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes (1970),” by Edison Lighthouse: I was in high school in the midst of a driver’s education class when this song came on the radio. Paying attention to the radio and not necessarily the road, I buzzed through a school zone at about 60 mph. The instructor was not happy. Not one bit. (Also, a guy named Tony Burrow sang lead for this rather fictitious group. Burrow sang with a handful of other musicians, who recorded under various names and had five singles in 1970 under five different names. More on this later … )
  • 3. “Hooked On A Feeling (1974),” by Blue Swede: This version sounded even better than the 1968 original from B.J. Thomas.
  • 4. “The Boys Are Back In Town (1976),” by Thin Lizzy: In 2004, this song was named No. 499 among Rolling Stone magazine’s all-time top 500 singles.
  • 5. “Werewolves of London (1978),” by Warren Zevon: Ahh … the only song to ever include a line like “Little old lady got mutilated late last night …”
  • 6. “Band A Gong (Get It On) (1971),” by T. Tex: One of the early glam-rock bands.
  • 7. “Walk On the Wild Side (1972),” by Lou Reed:Because the song had references to transgender people, controlled substances, male prostitution and other things that the RCA wouldn’t allow, there was also an edited version of the song released.
  • 8. “My Baby Loves Lovin’ (1970),” by White Plains: Tony Burrows sang lead on this song, too. He had a busy year.
  • 9. “Reflections Of My Life (1970),” by Marmalade: This group also covered the Beatles’ “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”. Or rather tried to.
  • 10. “I’ve Got The Music In Me (1974),” by Kiki Dee Band: Yes, it’s the same Kiki Dee that once sang with Elton John.

Honorable mention: “All the Young Dudes (1972),” by Mott the Hoople: I don’t think many know this song was written by David Bowie.

3. The NFL Draft is just three months away.

Here’s a look at how many first-round picks have been produced by Big Ten schools. Information is compliments of Winispedia:

  • 1. Ohio State, 85. (No. 1 overall in nation.)
  • 2. Michigan, 48. (No. 8 overall.)
  • 3. Penn State, 39. (No. 13 overall.)
  • 4. Michigan State, 36. (No. 16 overall.)
  • 5. Nebraska, 34. (No. 19 overall.)
  • 6. Wisconsin, 30. (No. 21 overall.)
  • 7. Iowa, 23. (No. 29 overall.)
  • 8. Illinois, 22. (No. 30 overall.)
  • 9. Purdue, 21.
  • 10. Minnesota, 18.
  • 11. Maryland, 17.
  • 12. Indiana, 12.
  • 13. Northwestern, 10.
  • 14. Rutgers, 3.

Steve Thought O’ the Day — One of our loyal readers, Georgia B., said she was crossing things off of her to-do list. She didn’t do them, she just didn’t want them on her list anymore. Atta girl!!

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. With the cicadas coming, he might not leave his house until he has to go to Adams County Speedway.

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