13 Years in the Making

Cicadas 05-28-2015If I’m reading the news stories correctly, this is the big year for cicadas in Missouri and the Midwest. The 13-year brood is hitting the southeast part of Missouri at about the same time the 17-year variety is showing up in the northwestern part of the state. They get their names from the number of years they spend underground before coming out and creating a deafening noise.

Click on the photos to make them larger.

Won’t happen for another 221 years

Cicadas 05-28-2015An Associated Press story quoted Rob Lawrence, a forest entomologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation, as saying that this is the only time in this century that the two sets of insects will appear at the same time. After this visit, it’ll be another 221 years before they show up together again.

I’m going to trust the experts who say that broods can contain as many as 10,000 to 1.5 million cicadas per acre. I tried to do a count, but couldn’t decide if I was counting 100 different insects or one bug 100 times.

As loud as a lawnmower

Cicadas 05-28-2015Road Warriorette Shari and I spotted these guys in the treeline bordering the Mississippi River bank in the ghost town of Seventy-Six. The insects are harmless to humans, but they can startle you if you don’t know what they are. They were as plentiful as bees flitting around a rose garden.

The noise is made by the males trying to attract the attention of potential mates. The chorus can reach 90 decibels, as loud as a lawnmower.



Hemman Winery in Brazeau

Hemman Winery 10-26-2014The banquet tables at the Immigration Conference were set with bottles of Hemman Winery cranberry wine.

[My presentation went well, thanks for asking. The audience looked at the videos I had produced of The Last Generation of German speakers, laughed where appropriate and had eyes glistening with moisture where appropriate. It’s always a rush to watch folks enjoying something you produced.]

Mother and Wife Lila accompanied me to the banquet after enjoying some great music in the museum. Lila likes a good wine, unlike me, who has never found a good replacement for the bottles of Ripple we OU Post photographers kept stashed in old photo paper boxes in the fridge. I mean, who is going to open a box marked “Open in darkroom only?”]

She thought the cranberry wine was good enough that she wanted to go to the winery in Brazeau, just up the road from Frohna’s Saxon Lutheran Memorial and not too far from Seventy-Six. Class of ’66 buddy Jane Rudert McMahan was in town, so the four of us headed north, with a stopover at the Altenburg museum.

Bonnie did the pouring

Hemman Winery 10-26-2014Bonnie Hemman had a full array of wines set up for tasting.She did a great job explaining each wine and how it was made.

Before we got out of the place, Lila had picked up a case of mostly fruit wines that may show up as Christmas gifts for some lucky people.

The place also had a spinach – artichoke dip that was excellent. I suspect Bonnie may see us again when Curator Jessica hits town next week. It seems like every other email I get from her has a wine mention in it, so I gather she is fond of the grape (or the cranberry or blackberry or rhubarb).

Lots of eye candy

Hemman Winery 10-26-2014While you are waiting for your turn to taste, you can wander around looking at the antique items displayed on shelves around the room. We didn’t discover the outdoor seating area with music until we were out in the parking lot headed home (almost).

I’ve been having some battery problems lately, and needed a jump. A couple of guys pushed my van out to the middle of the parking lot where my jumper cables could reach a jeep one of them pulled up. When it when it finally cranked, I tried to give them some money, but they refused to take it. I offered to buy them a bottle of wine, but they refused it. I told them to take the money inside and buy somebody ELSE a bottle of wine or a couple of beers, but they refused that, too. Perry County has some nice folks in it, for sure.

Barber chair older than mine

Hemman Winery 10-26-2014The building housing the winery used to have a barber shop attached. The barber chair might be just a few years older than the one we have in our living room, based on the arms and color.

Sweeter than cranberry wine

Hemman Winery 10-26-2014While Mother was checking out the music action on the north side of the winery, I was scoping out the view to the south. That’s sweeter than the cranberry wine.

For more information, including wine varieties, hours and directions, go to the Hemman Winery website. If you stop by, tell ’em we sent you. Say hi to Bonnie for us. And, you won’t find a better place to have a dead battery.

Click on the photos to make them larger.