Suzi Cicada: Chapter 4

Bess beetle at Hidden Oaks. Photo credit: Suzanne Holland.

Suzi paused. She had no choice. Something was tugging her backwards.

“Stop! You cannot go out there in the daylight!”

Suzi turned to see a shiny black beetle clamping her back leg with a thin, sharp pincer. Between the pain of the vice grip on her leg and the fright from the loud sounds, Suzi was mad. She was so close to the light, to the “soon.”

“Let go of me NOW! Who are you? What are you? Why are you hurting me?” shouted Suzi.

Benjamin Bess Beetle jumped back, equally unused to loud noises. “I’m, I’m sorry, so sorry. I just did not want you to get hurt,” he whimpered. Before either Suzi or Benjamin could respond, a gruff, breathless voice whispered, “He’s right you know. You need to wait for the others.”

Suzi knew that voice. Sam, wheezing for breath, continued, “I have been racing after you since you left. I tried to warn you. You do not want to be outside before your brothers and sisters. Most every critter out there wants to eat you! Suzi, you must be patient. You have waited almost 17 years. Wait for one more month.”

Suzi looked from Sam to Benjamin to the light beyond the bark of the log. She pushed back from the noise, pushed away from the interfering insect. Suzi wanted to finish what she started. She wanted “soon.” She scrambled to the light.

Read Chapter 5 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 for Fairfax County Government's Comment Policy.

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