Suzi Cicada: Chapter 12

“I’m laying eggs. About 20 at a time near the end of the branch. I have about 600 eggs to lay, so I do not have much time to talk. I need to keep moving so I can finish before some feathered beast catches me.” Her name was Cecie.

Suzi quickly asked,” Will you have to come back to gather your babies and raise them once they hatch?”

“Oh my, no. I do not plan on hanging around to see them. They are on their own now. From what I hear, they will find their way underground and sip on sap for 17 years. Then it will be their turn to come back on top of the world. Good luck with your egg laying. Toodles,“ replied Cecie as she lumbered off to the next twig.

Suzi stopped to consider this news. Good luck with her eggs? That felt right, but where would she get eggs? She returned to find her friend Magic and filled him in on the latest information. Magic told her that he just learned about cicadas mating. Then he sang her the most beautiful song.

The next night, Suzi landed on a twig, sliced into the wood, and deposited her first set of 20 eggs. She felt confident that she was in the right place at the right time and making the most of the moment. She thought about all that she had learned in the last month. She was grateful to have learned from Sam that each creature had a different way of living. She was happy for Benjamin that he would soon start his own family. She was grateful that cicadas had long lives underground, and that most of them got to fly.

She was uncertain how her babies would get underground, but she trusted that somehow the process would work. She knew that one day her little ones would feel the pull of the sunshine. They would learn to spread their wings and fly.

Read the epilogue to 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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