More Night Visits to St. Patrick Cemetery
News Category: Cicada General Info
More Night Visits to St. Patrick Cemetery
Tonight, I ran out of the house without my camn damera!! Again, I have gone back to St. Patrick Cemetery. I really don't feel like going all the way back home for it so I decide to continue on.
Prior to me entering the cemetery I had just parked my car and am in the middle of crossing the street. I don't know if you've ever heard the expression that Massachusetts's drivers really suck because we are considered very aggressive in our driving tactics. I have heard that Massachusetts's drivers are often referred to as "Massholes".
Well, tonight I almost fell victim to a "Masshole". I'm crossing the street and I swear as God as my witness, this guy whose in a red pick-up truck and wearing a Boston Red Sox baseball cap actually speeds up even though there was plenty of distance between him and myself before I entered the street.
He speeds up forcing me to run across the street to avoid being hit. He toots his horn and yells some expletive out the window at me. Now normally I would've just "flipped him the bird" as it were but I realized that this was Lowell, and a tough part of town no less. With my luck, he'd pull over and yank out a gun and start shooting at me so I thought better of it.
After he yelled the expletive at me I thought "Yeah, up yours too buddy." and just kept going.
As usual I head to my favorite Ash trees. Unfortunately, no nymphs found this evening on these trees so I decided to do a very wide survey of the cemetery to see if I can discover anything in areas of the cemetery where there was no activity previously.
I discovered one T. canicularis Cicada newly emerged on a Maple tree that borders one of the many roadways. Up until now, I have not been discovering signs of Cicadas on these trees with the exception of the very first exuvia I discovered back on July 24th.
Now that I'm finding exuvia on these roadway trees, seems to be a good sign. I also found another nymph on another Maple tree bordering a different roadway as well. This one is small and so I conclude that it too is a T. canicularis. I needed a female so I decided to take this one home and hope for the best.
So it's around 11:00 pm, been here for an hour, it's pitch black and I'm in the middle of a cemetery with just my backpack slung over my left shoulder and a flash light in my right hand. I'm walking around looking at all the trees. I am walking with the flashlight off because tonight is an especially full bright moon.
Now I know that most people must think walking around in a 68 acre cemetery in the dead of night without any light might be creepy but I find it quite peaceful.
It's especially humid so there is a lot of fog hanging in the air. I have just scored two T.canicularis Cicadas. One as a nymph and the other just fully emerged. I decide to check my favorite Ash trees again which in the past I have scored many nymphs on. I had checked them earlier when I first entered the cemetery but there was nothing so I decided to make one last pass by them. After all an hour had passed since I came in so I'd give them another shot on my way out.
I approach the first Ash tree. It's got to be at least 75 to 100 feet tall, around 5 feet in diameter. In my conversations during one of my many morning visits with the grounds workers they say it's one of several of the oldest trees nearly 400 years old. I always check it very carefully taking my time. I shine the light at it's base and move my flashlight slowly up in a straight line shining the light around 10 feet above my head paying careful attention to the great tree's trunk.
Nothing, time to move to the left about 2 feet and repeat the process all over again, making sure I step very carefully around the base of the tree, I wouldn't want to accidentally crush a nymph as it's walking along the ground. I shine my light starting at the base to up above my head.
All-of-a-sudden I hear a faint rustling noise coming from the other side of the tree which I can't see because the tree is so huge in diameter. I say to myself "Be patient, that noise could be a nymph walking through the leaf litter, check the rest of the tree, don't miss any sections."
So I continue my investigation of the tree trunk as I work my way around, shining my light up and down, up and down. I finally make it around to the other side of the tree where the noise was coming from. On the down-stroke of the beam of my flashlight, I was taken by surprise by a huge skunk with it's tail flexed in defensive posture standing less than two feet away from me. He gave a faint hiss in warning at me.
"You don't have to warn me twice." I said to the skunk as I immediately backed off in a straight line and made a wide arc around him.
After that I had had enough, so I got the hell outta there. There will be other nights.