Daily Bread for 5.23.24: Cicadas Begin to Emerge Nearby

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 76. Sunrise is 5:23 and sunset 8:19 for 14h 56m 20s of daytime. The moon is full with 100 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Board of Zoning Appeals meets at 6 PM.

On this day in 1854, the Milwaukee and Mississippi railroad reached Madison, connecting the city with Milwaukee. When the cars pulled into the depot, thousands of people gathered to witness the ceremonial arrival of the first train, and an enormous picnic was held on the Capitol grounds for all the passengers who’d made the seven-hour trip from Milwaukee to inaugurate the line.

On this day in 1949,  after approval from the Western occupying powers, the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany takes effect.

This long weekend may give Wisconsinites their first cicada-viewing opportunities. Claire Reid reports 17-year cicadas are emerging now in Wisconsin. Here’s where you can find them:

“With the temperatures this week and rain showers today and tomorrow, that’s really going to help things,” [Director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Insect Diagnostics Lab PJ] Liesch said. “Once the emergence gets going in full swing, we’re probably going to be seeing tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of these emerging in relatively small areas in Lake Geneva and other spots in the state.”

Here’s where else the cicadas are expected to emerge in the coming weeks.

This map, created by director of UW-Madison's Insect Diagnostics Lab PJ Liesch, shows where 17-year Brood XIII cicadas have emerged in Wisconsin in the past.
Where will 17-year cicadas emerge in Wisconsin?

The Lake Geneva area will be the best place in Wisconsin to see the 17-year cicadas due to their well-established record there, especially along the northern side of the lake, Liesch wrote in his blog.

Other cicada hotspots include areas of Green County and Rock County, including Janesville and Beloit. Additionally, the insects are expected to be prevalent in southwestern Wisconsin’s Driftless Area counties: Iowa, Sauk, Richland, Crawford and Grant.

See also Return of the Cicadas.

I hope we’ll see cicadas in Whitewater; if not, we’ve other viewing spots nearby.

How the cicada phenomenon is capturing our collective attention:

Daily Bread for 4.18.24: Return of the Cicadas

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will see scattered showers with a high of 53. Sunrise is 6:05 and sunset 7:41 for 13h 35m 58s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 75.4 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Community Development Authority meets at 5:30 PM.

On this day in 1775, the British advancement by sea begins; Paul Revere and other riders warn the countryside of the troop movements.

Chicagoland in May, parts of Wisconsin in June.

See also UW Insect Diagnostic Lab, Learn more about cicadas, and Help map periodical cicadas in Wisconsin.

Cicadas explained: Three facts about the buzzing insects:

Friday Catblogging: They Know It’s You

Embed from Getty Images Nicola Davis reports Big cats can tell apart known and unknown human voices, study finds (‘Tigers, cheetahs and snow leopards, like domesticated cats, respond differently to familiar and unfamiliar voices’): From tigers to cheetahs, big cats may seem majestically aloof but researchers have found they can tell apart familiar and unfamiliar…

Friday Catblogging: Space-Transmission Cat

??Justine McDaniel reports Taters the cat stars in NASA’s first video streamed from deep space: On the path to Mars, nearly 19 million miles from Earth, Taters the cat got his big break. The orange tabby starred in the first video streamed from deep space, a successful NASA experiment that marked a milestone for advancing…

Daily Bread for 12.16.23: Fetching

 Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be rainy with a high of 44. Sunrise is 7:19 and sunset 4:22 for 9h 02m 28s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 16.2% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1773, members of the Sons of Liberty disguised as Mohawk Indians hold a Boston Tea Party when they dump hundreds of crates of tea into Boston harbor as a protest against the Tea Act.

Leo Sands reports Cats can play fetch, too, study finds:

according to a new study, many cats share a trait more frequently associated with pet dogs: They play fetch.

The peer-reviewed study, published Thursday, dispels any lingering myth that cats do not know how to retrieve objects for their owners, said its authors, who based their findings on a survey of the owners of 1,154 cats that played fetch on every continent except Antarctica. Some cats can and do play fetch, they found, although it depended on the feline’s individual traits and the bond shared with its owner.

“It was more common than people were probably expecting, and even I was expecting,” Jemma Forman, an animal psychologist at the University of Sussex and an author of the study, said in an interview. The authors of the study, published in the Scientific Reports journal, said they believe it is the most extensive conducted to date on this specific behavior among cats.


The study, limited to cats whose owners already reported fetching, did not assess how prevalent the behavior was among the general cat population. While many cats do fetch, Forman suggested that more research was needed to determine how common it was more generally. A cat’s breed was not a barrier to its ability to fetch, the study found, although Siamese cats were particularly well represented in the sample.

See Forman, J., Renner, E. & Leavens, D.A. Fetching felines: a survey of cat owners on the diversity of cat (Felis catus) fetching behaviour. Sci Rep 13, 20456 (2023).

Fetching? Well, yes, of course they are.

How to Give Dead Batteries New Life:

Friday Catblogging: They Have Their Reasons

Embed from Getty Images In Scientific American, Jack Tamisiea writes that Cats Kill a Staggering Number of Species across the World (‘Domestic cats are cherished human companions, but a new study shows the enormous breadth of species the felines prey on when they are left to roam freely’): Despite their small stature and memeable mugs,…

Friday Catblogging: Strolling with Shelter Cats

At Virginia Tech, there’s a study on the benefits of taking shelter cats for a stroll now and again. Marjorielee Christianson writes that Over 3 million cats enter shelters in the United States each year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Julianna Scardina, a member of the Virginia-Maryland College of…

Friday Catblogging: How Do Cats Cool Themselves Off?

Embed from Getty Images Hannah Keyser writes How Do Cats Cool Themselves Off? (‘Here’s a hint: It’s not by sweating through their paws’): Conduction allows cats to cool themselves off or warm themselves up via contact with objects of a different temperature. This is why you can often find your cat seeking out cool kitchen…

Friday Catblogging: Cat Noses

Tanya Lewis writes Cat Noses Contain Twisted Labyrinths That Help Them Separate Smells (‘Scientists hypothesize that coiled channels inside a cat’s nose may function like a gas chromatograph’): Researchers created a computational model of a cat’s nose based on computed tomography scans and tissue slices from a deceased house cat whose body was donated for…