Suzi Cicada: Chapter 3

Suzi’s front legs wiggled into nothingness.

There was no other way to describe the absence of ground. Such an odd sensation. She pushed with her back legs and tumbled face first into a damp, mealy and chaotic passageway. From every side, even above her, Suzi sensed movement. Vibrations from scratching and tapping, sounds of chewing, chomping, and slurping.

Suzi froze. Intoxicating warmth still called from the ground around her. She slowly reached up, relieved to recognize a dense tree root. But not like any root she had experienced. This root had no fluids running through the wood. She could not describe how she knew, she was just positive. The soft surface crumbled under her gentlest touch. Pulling all six legs back, she scooted towards one more oddity – a somethingness that caused her eyes to twinge. This was even more remarkable because, until this exact moment, Suzi did not know that she had eyes.

Deep underground for sixteen years and eleven months, Suzi never had use for eyes. Now her eyes bugged out, staring. Her first actual sight! Without feeling movement, she floated to the crack of light. She wriggled one foot out to the brightness, and then another. Hairs on her legs tingled. This light was a bit dry, a trifle cooler, but not unpleasant. Suzi took a deep breath and marched on. The scream pierced her trance.

Read Chapter 4 of Suzi Cicada.

Author Suzanne Holland is the Visitor Center Manager at Hidden Oaks Nature Center, which is home to lots and lots of cicadas!

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About Fairfax County Park Authority

About Fairfax County Park Authority HISTORY: On December 6, 1950, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors created the Fairfax County Park Authority. The Park Authority was authorized to make decisions concerning land acquisition, park development and operations in Fairfax County, Virginia. To date, 13 park bond referenda have been approved between 1959 and 2016. Today, the Park Authority has 427 parks on more than 23,000 acres of land. We offer 325 miles of trails, our most popular amenity. FACILITIES: The Park system is the primary public mechanism in Fairfax County for the preservation of environmentally sensitive land and resources, areas of historic significance and the provision of recreational facilities and services including: • Nine indoor RECenters with swimming pools, fitness rooms, gyms and class spaces. Cub Run features an indoor water park and on-site naturalist • Eight golf courses from par-3 to championship level, four driving ranges including the new state-of-the-art heated, covered range at Burke Lake Golf Center • Five nature and visitor centers. Also nine Off-Leash Dog Activity areas • Three lakefront parks including Lake Fairfax, Lake Accotink and Burke Lake, with campgrounds at Burke Lake and Lake Fairfax. The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole at Lake Fairfax, Our Special Harbor Sprayground at Lee as well as an indoor water park at Cub Run RECenter • Clemyjontri Park, a fully accessible playground in Great Falls featuring two acres of family friendly fun and a carousel, as well as Chessie’s Big Backyard and a carousel at the Family Recreation Area at Lee District Park • An ice skating rink at Mount Vernon RECenter and the Skate Park in Wakefield Park adjacent to Audrey Moore RECenter • Kidwell Farm, a working farm of the 1930s-era at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon, now with historic carousel • Eight distinctive historic properties available for rent • A working grist mill at Colvin Run in Great Falls and a restored 18th century home at Sully Historic Site in Chantilly • A horticulture center at Green Spring Gardens in Annandale • Natural and cultural resources protected by the Natural Resource Management Plan and Cultural Resource Plans, plus an Invasive Management Area program that targets alien plants and utilizes volunteers in restoring native vegetation throughout our community • Picnic shelters, tennis courts, miniature golf courses, disc golf courses, off-leash dog parks, amphitheaters, a marina, kayaking/canoeing center • Provides 263 athletic fields, including 39 synthetic turf fields, and manages athletic field maintenance services at 417 school athletic fields. PARK AUTHORITY BOARD: A 12-member citizen board, appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, sets policies and priorities for the Fairfax County Park Authority. Visit https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news2/social-hub/ for Fairfax County Government's Comment Policy.

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