Brood XIII Time to Say Goodbye
News Category: Cicada Missions
Brood XIII Time to Say Goodbye
Well, today is the day that I need to leave Joe Green and Roy Troutman. I have a long drive ahead to hopefully hook up with John Cooley, David Marshall and Kathy Hill.
I was up early, which was kind of on the cool side. Joe met me outside in the parking lot of the hotel and we said our good byes. Joe was nice enough to loan me several books on Cicadas which to this day, I still haven't been able to send back to him. Hopefully, I will get them to him very soon. Its tough parting with such good information on cicadas!
Off to Jubilee College State Park
I was headed to Peoria County where I plan on spending the majority of my time working with the above-mentioned people helping out with the large distribution mapping project. Our base of operations will be a park/campground known as Jubilee College State Park. I have to drive approximately 210 miles which I estimate will take around 4 hours.
Let the Distribution Mapping Begin!
I figured since this is going to be a rather long drive, why not stop at a few places along the way in order to gather positive and negative data points. Every data point is valuable.
One of my first stops was just off of Rte 6 West which in turn is off of I55 in a town called Channahon. It's amazing that when you are outside the city of Chicago, there was nothing around. I stopped here for gas and drove around for a bit just to see if I could hear anything. Unfortunately, nothing.
I wanted to avoid the toll roads so I took I55 heading towards Peoria. When you get outside Chicago there are lots of wide open and flat areas and you can see for miles.
My next stop was in a rest area off I55 south around exit #197 outside of Pontiac, Il. This was a very nice rest area with trails by a meandering stream. The soil along the trails is very black with ash trees but there were no Magicicada calling here.
I picked up I74 heading west towards Peoria off of I55. My next stop was another rest area in a town called Goodfield. Route 150 and I74 run just about parallel to each other. After listening for several minutes I was able to hear the calls of around 2-3 M. cassini in various trees. Not what I was hoping to hear but still it is a start. This may be a boundary area.
I got back in my car and continued west on I74, eventually ending up in Peoria. I drove through and picked up route 150 west just outside the city. As I'm driving along with the windows down, I end up driving into a massive amount of noise along the side of the road. The chorusing of M. cassini is so loud that it drowns out the noise that the highway traffic is making! I pull off onto the emergency shoulder and just have a listen. Right along the highway there are millions of M. cassini chorusing. As I listened closly, I could discern the calls of a few M. septendecim and one or two M. septendecula as well. This is perhaps the loudest chorus I have heard thus far!!
Arrival At Last!!
I finally arrived at Jubilee College State Park around 3 in the afternoon. The Magicicada here are in full chorus and are making quite the racquet!! I introduced myself to the park staff and I was given a camp site next to the University of Connecticut crew. No one was around. They are no doubt off doing whatever research they need to be doing so I take the rest of the day to set up camp.
About Jubilee College State Park
Jubilee College State Park is a 3,200-acre facility, located in Peoria County between the towns of Kickapoo and Brimfield, just off U.S. Route 150. This scenic area, with its rolling topography and meandering Jubilee Creek, offers various outdoor recreational opportunities. They offer horseback riding trails, picnicking areas, camping (for $15.00 a night) which is a great deal. They have shower facilities and bathroom houses. Some people can even reserve whole picnic areas to have private parties and other functions. Though I don't know how much this costs but several parties were going on while we were there.
I decided to set up camp which takes the next few hours. The campsites are nice and even come with electricity. This will be great because I brought my laptop computer. I hope my internet connection works out this far. Hopefully it won't be a problem. Click the thumbnail above and to the right to check out my campsite layout.
Around 7:00 pm the gang starts to arrive. John Cooley, David Marshall, Kathy Hill and Chris Simon are all there along with three other individuals that I have yet to meet. John and I decide to go into town to stock up on provisions. We come back and decide to go over the distribution mapping strategy. Mike Neckermann shows up later on and we decided to share my campsite together.
Ultimately the Brood XIII distribution mapping will involve many separate individuals in our group. The data collected will be analyzed and will compare Brood XIII's relationship with the other broods known to emerge around it. My task is to map the south-western edge of Brood XIII which starts just outside of Springfield Illinois.
Tomorrow should prove interesting.
As the study continues in later updates, there will be photos of everyone scattered throughout this project.