cicada

CICADA-PALOOZA!

I'm not terribly disappointed that, by moving from Washington D.C. to Georgia, I've missed the last two Brood X cicada invasions.


Let's get a few things straight: The "X" in "Brood X" is a Roman number, so just say "Brood Ten." But that means calling the noisy ones "X-Men" doesn't work (ATTN: TV Newsreaders). And they don't dig out from their 17-year hiatus until the ground temperature reaches 64°F (17.8°C). The best concise description of Brood X/Ten I found is at this page from the National Park Service.

And a final dirty human secret about the Brood Ten cicadas: Their range only covers portions of a few mid-Atlantic states and D.C. But that means they're enabled to disrupt every outdoors live shot from every TV reporter in Washington D.C.

The clinchers came on Wednesday, when President Biden battled off a cicada on his departure to Europe, some of the six-legged assailant's hench-insects delayed the White House press corps plane by six hours when they lodged themselves in an auxiliary engine.

Which affirms a dirty not-so-secret about what many consider an East Coast media bias: What happens in Washington or New York speaks for the entire country.

In this case, the speaking was done by the wings of countless male cicadas, looking to get back in the breeding game after 17 years literally underground. The cicadas should be quiet by the end of the month, to return in 2038. The resident population of alleged East Coast media bias will probably be waiting for them.

Asian carp 

So enough about insects and journalists. Fish and journalists, anyone?

If you think TV folks love cicada stories, try Asian carp. The fish were brought to the U.S. in the mid-20th century to control algae blooms near sewage treatment plants and fish farms. One species, the silver carp, made its way from Mississippi Delta catfish farms upriver to Illinois, outcompeting native fish all the way.

But these fish have a quirky defensive behavior that's also fabulous slapstick comedy. When threatened or alarmed, silver carp can breach up to 15 feet in the air. I've watched video of fishermen rejoicing as fish fulfill an old myth by literally jumping into the boat; a wildlife biologist hit full in the trousers by an airborne carp; or a TV reporter striking theatrical paydirt when hit upside the head with a frightened fish.

Noodling for catfish

noodling catfish

Noodling fishing tournament in Oklahoma. (Credit: Nate/flickr)

And finally, I can't leave the topic of human-wildlife interaction without giving a shout-out to the sport of noodling—also known as handgrabbing.

The last time I checked, noodling was legal (sometimes with restrictions) in 11 states. It involves the catching of catfish by unconventional means: allowing an enormous flathead or channel catfish to mistake your arm for a meal, then running a rope through the channel cat's mouth and gills. Or, for expediency and on smaller (maybe 20 lbs.) cats, ditch the rope and just run your hand through the mouth and out the gills.

Either way, hobbying hazards from having a giant fish try to swallow your arm can include infections, broken bones, injured muscles and tendons and scar tissue up to the elbow. Whooppeee!

This 13-minute video from father-daughter YouTube noodling sensations Jeff and Hannah Barron will change your life.

Or not.

Peter Dykstra is our weekend editor and columnist and can be reached at pdykstra@ehn.org or @pdykstra.

His views do not necessarily represent those of Environmental Health News, The Daily Climate, or publisher, Environmental Health Sciences.

Banner photo credit: MostlyDross/flickr

Invasives and invasions pit humans versus nature.

Researchers find benzene and other dangers in gas piped to California homes
www.nytimes.com

Researchers find benzene and other dangers in gas piped to California homes

A new study estimated that each year California gas appliances and infrastructure leak the same amount of benzene as is emitted by nearly 60,000 cars.
Sunrise in the woods

Get our Good News newsletter

Get the best positive, solutions-oriented stories we've seen on the intersection of our health and environment, FREE every Tuesday in your inbox. Subscribe here today. Keep the change tomorrow.

Peter Dykstra: There's plenty of environmental coverage — if you like misleading ads

I spent nearly 20 years cashing paychecks from commercial TV, vainly hoping for the day when our environment would be front and center.

Keep reading...Show less
Officials plan to truck 6,000 gallons of water from Missouri River across Kansas
kansasreflector.com

Officials plan to truck 6,000 gallons of water from Missouri River across Kansas

A western Kansas agency charged with conserving groundwater will truck water across from the Missouri River to the Ogallala Aquifer.
The plastics industry says advanced recycling is a solution to the plastic waste crisis. But environmental groups disagree. – Chicago Tribune
www.chicagotribune.com

The plastics industry says advanced recycling is a solution to the plastic waste crisis. But environmental groups disagree. – Chicago Tribune

The plastics industry says there is way to help solve the crisis of plastic waste plaguing the planet’s oceans, beaches and lands — recycle it, chemically. But environmental groups say advanced recycling is a distraction from real solutions like producing and using less plastic.
From our Newsroom
Op-ed: On climate protests, the media misses the point

Op-ed: On climate protests, the media misses the point

What does van Gogh matter to billions of victims of climate inaction?

EPA Michael Regan

EPA's chemical safety rule tests the Biden administration’s commitment to environmental justice

"Cure never happens, prevention never happens in a community where people are sacrificed for others’ gain."

Chemical recycling grows  along with concerns of its impacts

Chemical recycling grows — along with concerns about its environmental impacts

Industry says chemical recycling could solve the plastic waste crisis, but environmental advocates and some lawmakers are skeptical.

Failure of the universities: The culture gap is now near lethal

Universities are failing us

Our educational systems are failing to prepare people for existential environmental threats

Shell's new petrochemical complex in southwestern Pennsylvania

The Titans of Plastic

Pennsylvania becomes the newest sacrifice zone for America’s plastic addiction.

Stay informed: sign up for The Daily Climate newsletter
Top news on climate impacts, solutions, politics, drivers. Delivered to your inbox week days.