Cicadas

Every year, starting around mid-July, the cicadas emerge to serenade us. We typically have at any given time, what sounds to my ear, to be two or three cicadas in our yard. This year, however, there have been so many that I am unable to count them by listening. And they emerged earlier than usual, with the first being heard at the tail end of June!

An image of a cicada and exoskeleton
A cicada and a shed exoskeleton on a block of wood.

Near a stump in our yard, I counted nine shed exoskeletons and at least one live cicada.

An image of a cicada and cicada exoskeleton.
A cicada and a shed exoskeleton on a block of wood.

While cicadas and crickets aren’t attractive insects like monarch or swallowtail butterflies, I enjoy the buzz of the cicadas and the trill of crickets, especially at night when I have the bedroom windows open.

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia)

Five years ago, we planted a small native wildflower garden in our back yard. Every year we add more native wild flowers. One of the first plants we planted was Purple Coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia). They have established themselves and are slowly spreading.

Picture of Purple Coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia)

Picture of Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea angustifolia)

Picture of Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea angustifolia)

A frequent visitor to the coneflowers are Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus).

Picture of two monarch butterflies

Picture of a Monarch butterfly on a Purple Coneflower