Note the squirrel pie: a long history with Cincinnati cicadas

T.The 17-year-old cicada song is soon to resonate across the Cincinnati area As always since 1800, a large number of myths, memories, rumors, and unfounded steward roles are brooding.

Cincinnati cicadas will emerge as part of Brood X, the largest Great Eastern Brood in the 17 year old cicada group.

April 6, 1902 by The Cincinnati Enquirer (Image extracted from microfilm by Greg Hand)

When Cincinnati was founded in 1788, a local periodic cicada known as Blood X slept as an underground larva for six months. The first gig that caught the settlers’ attention would have been in 1800 but was clearly not mentioned in the local newspaper. An anonymous correspondent known only as the “MC” Cincinnati Gazette [June 23, 1868] The cicada was unknown to the city’s first European colonists:

“At the end of May 1817, I first saw them appear near here. My father, who was a boy at the time, told me the facts about their appearance in 1800. It has now been confirmed four times. “

Early paintings in Cincinnati in 1800 suggest that cicadas may have been a minor phenomenon, as settlers felled all the trees for miles around Cincinnati’s riverside. A letter from Philadelphia that year was printed in one of Charles Sist’s collections and the city of brotherhood was so flooded that conversation without shouting was impossible and the service was canceled. Is recorded. So far, no one had speculated that both Cincinnati and Philadelphia would host Brood X and withstand an outbreak at the same time.

A major concern in 1868 was the ability of cicadas to sting, but it wasn’t. Females lay enough eggs to invade the bark to spawn, but insects do not mistake or sting people for trees. Still Gazette [June 12, 1868] Report:

“The Dayton Empire says when locusts visited the area 17 years ago, many were stabbed and sometimes fatal.”

Cincinnati Enquirer [June 16, 1868] Also, spread this story:

“On Saturday, Dayton’s last two children were badly stabbed, one killed and little hope found in the other’s lives.”

Another issue raised this year was the potentially toxic effects on semi-fat squirrels. Viewfinder [June 17, 1868] The reader has been warned that cicada squirrels should be avoided:

“Our readers should be aware that these rodents eat locusts, so they will eat squirrels during the locust season. Dr. Wright told Telehort Express that he knew a family in 1851. Inmates in large shelters, including Colonel RW Thompson, reportedly became quite ill with all of the symptoms of addiction caused by eating squirrel pie. “

When it appeared in the Cincinnati Post in 1885 [June 2, 1885] They pruned weak branches and advised residents to take advantage of the rare invasion of this audible insect:

“Fruit growers rely on better apple crops half a dozen years after the year of the locusts than they did half a dozen years before they arrived. “

But Seeker The Squirrel, fed by locusts in 1868, claimed to be dangerous, and the newspaper changed its tone in 1885.

“It is said that 17-year-old locusts were eaten in North America and used to make soap.”

post [June 12, 1885] I agreed and suggested crumbling the insects, inspired by the Bible of John the Baptist who ate locusts and honey (a completely different type).

“The people who ate it can be forgiven for tasting different than any other dish after admitting that the new dish was delicious.”

CH Newton, the Mercantir Library librarian, brought some cicadas home from his college mound to the downtown cicada-free city this year, but was quickly devoured by the city’s numerous sparrows.

If you track, Cincinnati has seen visits to 1800, 1817, 1834, 1851, 1868, 1885, 1902, 1919, 1936, 1953, 1970, 1987, 2004, and this year’s Periodic Cicadas.

From the Cincinnati Post on April 28, 1902 (Image from microfilm by Greg Hand)

By 1902, reporters had deferred all of the cicada’s affairs to scientists and advised them to calm down until the plague was gone, but rumors of cicada bites continued. post Promote and report on the nutritional value of infrequent visitors [June 11, 1902] Note that no one has ever asked for help from a man who served a dinner of cicada soup, cicada chips, cicada cakes, and cicada toast again. It will be another 85 years before the Snappy Tomato Pizza Company announces the Snappy Cicada Pizza.

By 1919, the slopes of Cincinnati had returned to Sylvain’s size as trees were allowed to grow instead of being felled for fuel or housing. According to the newly reforested mound, it was home to billions of cicadas in 1919 and required special measures. Viewfinder [June 2, 1919]::

“It was reported in College Hill yesterday that there were so many insects that residents of some sections of the hill picked the insects with a shovel, anointed them with coal oil, and burned them in the mountains.”

At the Cincinnati Zoo in 1936, cicadas performed with the orchestra during a summer opera rehearsal. The biggest cicada problem, however, concerned the Bavarian brewery in Covington. A bushel basket full of dead cicadas clogged the cooling tower and halted production of golden amber beverages until workers could clear the clog.

 In 1936, he sprayed the cicadas in Price Hill with insect repellent, but the cause was lost. Of course, insects die quickly.

From the Cincinnati Post on May 28, 1936 (Image from microfilm by Greg Hand)

Its appearance here in 1953 coincided with the much more harmful pest, the army worm. As an insatiable caterpillar of appetite, the army worm devoured lawns, gardens, trees, and all the leaves on the way. Compared to the relatively harmless but noisy cicadas, army worms pose a real threat.

For the past few years, Cincinnati has conducted Gene Klitsky’s study. This flyby night insect study was shaped by his prestigious career in entomological research at Mount St. Joseph University.

With the love-hate relationship between Cincinnati and the 17-year-old cicada, the occasional insect has proven to be good indicators of baseball. As our best friend Joe Hoffecker reports, the Reds have played eight seasons that Cincinnati has lived in for 17 years in the Cicada epidemic. In those eight seasons, the Reds won the World Series, two National League pennants and two runner-ups. The total win / loss record for those eight years ranged from 633 to 553, which is a cumulative total of 0.534 percent. This is a precursor to the 2021 season.

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