From what I've seen on Radio Lab's Cicada Tracker temperatures are still fluctuating in the area; we hit the 64 mark ourselves only two days ago. However, it looks like parts of NYC and even Jersey have had cicada sightings. I'm not sure yet how Conor will feel about the Great Cicada Emergence as he's expressed wariness at flying insects, but is enthused at finding leaf-cutter ants and walking sticks in Costa Rica when we visit this summer. I used to love watching the leaf-cutter ants, marching in what looked like never-ending lines ending in unreachable parts of trees or bushes, or even in drainage ditches. A quick check with the online Britannica Encyclopedia reveals that this is a generic name for 39 different species of ants.
The little dudes (ants in general, not just leaf-cutters) never cease to amaze me. The way their colonies work is truly remarkable and their hierarchy is just as fascinating. Just today, I heard a piece on Marketplace about how jobs are distributed in a colony according to age: younger ants work in the nursery and take care of the queen, then work as cleaners and custodians, and older ants go out and forage for resources, according to May Berenbaum, the entomologist from the University of Illinois that they interviewed for the piece. She even said they can skip ahead in the hierarchy! Also kind of creepy but cool (and pragmatic): they have ants that are in charge of corpse removal.
Another great piece on ants — maybe more appropriate for the +8 crowd — was provided by Radiolab in one of their shorts. The segment was about a war-waging "super-colony" of ants that has basically achieved world domination. They can recognize their own even after traveling hundreds, if not thousands, of miles. (They do so chemically.) But when they find a non-colony ant — watch out. Check it out, it's a great listen.