Community Foundation of New Jersey

Cicadas Swarm CFNJ

June 4, 2013

Hear that buzz?  If you’re at the Community Foundation’s offices in Morristown or countless other places in the northeast, it’s the swarm of cicadas sitting outside your window.

Since mid-May, “swarmpedes” of Magicicada septendecim – the 17-year cicadas – have taken over much of the East Coast with their sonorous mating buzz.  Brood II, as this year’s invasion is known, has found the walls of CFNJ to be particularly conducive to singing, scaling, and…connecting with fellow cicadas.  As these inch-long critters vastly outnumber us, we have little room to protest.

Observing Brood II’s ancestors as they invaded his Monticello, VA home in 1775, Thomas Jefferson wrote: “They come out of the ground from a prodigious depth.”  Prodigious and also determined, Brood II has spent the last 17 years living underground to avoid predators—feeding on tree xylum and preparing to emerge when the time is right.

Since our unexpected guests will only stay for a few weeks before their next invasion in 2030, we’ve resolved to be gracious hosts and applaud their clarity of purpose and determination.