Last week, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) contacted me to do a story on the cicadas in Washington, D.C. I explained to their producer that the cicadas were not in Washington but they were found just south of the city.
The CBC then asked if they could interview me in a location near Washington, D.C. that had plenty of cicadas. I suggested West Springfield, Virginia as a possible location for the interview. At that time, the cicadas covered homes, trees, and sidewalks in some of their southwestern neighborhoods.
The CBC news crew was delayed almost a week covering the tornadoes in Oklahoma and when they arrived in Washington I knew that the cicadas in West Springfield were not as numerous close to the ground.
I suggested the Stone Bridge at the Manassas National Battlefield Park. I run the trails at the Battlefield Park and I noticed the cicadas were quite dense during my Saturday morning run. I batted them away with my hand while I ran.
I met the CBC news crew in the parking lot at the Stone Bridge late Sunday morning. After quick introductions, reporter Paul Hunter remarked that he did not realize cicadas were so loud. The cicada mating calls at the Stone Bridge were almost deafening at times. The volume level would ebb and flow, but the constant roaring hum of the cicadas would never cease.
I was a little amused that the Canadian news crew, who had recently been embedded in Syria and Afghanistan, flinched and jumped when cicadas landed on them. Our big-eyed cicadas can be a little frightening at first, even to war-hardened and seasoned journalists. Within a few minutes, the crew became accustomed to the clumsy and intrusive bugs.
The Stone Bridge area of the Manassas Battlefield Park was the perfect setting for our cicada interview. Cicadas filled the trees and fields. The bugs seemed to be everywhere. We even found a pair of mating cicadas on the main trail leading to the Stone Bridge.
The pair of mating cicadas were quite fortunate that the constant stream of tourists did not squish them into the pavement. After we finished photographing and filming the pair of love bugs, I moved them from the trail’s pavement to a nearby branch. They were stuck together quite well and did not separate during the move. I hope they are not still fused together.
I learned that our East Coast cicadas have an international appeal. I was contacted by media groups from Canada, Germany, and France regarding interviews and filming of the bugs. The various media groups saw my cicada articles on the CWG blog. It seems our Capital Weather Gang blog reaches an audience a little farther north and east than just Baltimore and Annapolis.
The goal of Sunday’s CBC interview and cicada shoot at the Manassas Battlefield Park was to produce a TV news story for the CBC’s “The National” evening news. The news story aired in Canada on Tuesday evening and it can be viewed in its entirety below. A “behind the scenes” video showing the filming of the cicada news story is also included in this post.
This is the cicada news story produced by the CBC that aired on Canada’s “The National” evening news on Tuesday. The CBC filmed the cicadas at the Manassas National Battlefield Park. You may have to watch a couple of commercials before the cicada story plays. (CBC)
Here is a “behind the scenes” look at the filming of the CBC cicada news story at the Manassas Battlefield Park. CBC associate producer, Marie Claudet, help me record these scenes with my Sony DSLR camera. (Kevin Ambrose / Marie Claudet)