In Missouri: the Cicada's Song

To hear people talk down at the cafe, you'd think we were being invaded by hostile aliens from a grade-B science fiction movie. A new brood of 13-year cicadas, estimated to be in the millions, has crawled up out of the ground in a big part of the country's midsection. Its members are trying their wings, singing like crazy and mating in a very public way. In a few weeks they will die off and be gone, but for now they are quite the topic of conversation.

There are annual cicadas all over the U.S. Most people call them dog-day cicadas,...

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