© 2021
In touch with the world ... at home on the High Plains
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
KJJP-FM 105.7 is currently operating at 15% of power, limiting its signal strength and range in the Amarillo-Canyon area. This due to complicated problems with its very old transmitter. Local engineers are continuing to work on the transmitter and are consulting with the manufacturer to diagnose and fix the problems. We apologize for this disruption and service as we work as quickly as possible to restore KJPFM to full power. In the mean time you can always stream either the HPPR Mix service or HPPR Connect service using the player above or the HPPR app.

The 'Great Southern Brood' of cicadas has emerged


They're here. Brood XIX, also called the great southern brood of cicadas - they have re-emerged after 13 years. And Sofi Gratas from Georgia Public Broadcasting spoke with people right in the middle of it in Macon, Ga.


MAUREEN VANDERVILLE: It starts out in the morning, and you're not sure if you hear it. And then it just gets worse and worse and worse.

SOFI GRATAS, BYLINE: Maureen and Jean Vanderville (ph) in Macon can't escape the Brood XIX cicada emergence.

M VANDERVILLE: It really does sound like an alien mothership.

JEAN VANDERVILLE: But even inside the house, we can hear them.

M VANDERVILLE: With the doors closed.

J VANDERVILLE: Door closed and everything - you hear them.

GRATAS: Brood XIX is the largest reported group of periodical cicadas. Trillions of them have taken over the trees here and in other parts of the southeast.

M VANDERVILLE: I think if it were to last all summer, I'd be annoyed.


M VANDERVILLE: But since I know this is an event that happens periodically and is going to disappear so I can enjoy most of my summer, I'm OK with it.


M VANDERVILLE: It's fascinating.

GRATAS: This group emerges every 13 years. Periodical cicadas are different from annual ones. They have red eyes instead of black and smaller, more slender bodies. Plus, they make a far different sound.


GRATAS: Only the male cicadas sing to attract the females for mating, like this one that landed on my microphone during this recording.


GRATAS: When they all sing together, they can be louder than a lawn mower or traffic. Lisa Hargrove from Macon has lived through several cicada seasons.

LISA HARGROVE: When I was a little girl, my father was a paint contractor, but he would collect the exoskeletons of the cicadas off of the trees, line them up, and he would paint them all gold. And on Sunday morning, I would wear them to church like jewelry, and the old women would clutch their pearls when I came in with cicada shells all over me.


HARGROVE: It just makes me think of him. And especially with this brood that's out now, I wish he were here to hear this. He would love it.

GRATAS: Brood XIX will only be out for a few more weeks, paving the way for the annual summer cicadas to take over soon.

For NPR News, I'm Sofi Gratas in Macon, Ga. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Sofi Gratas