Invasion of the Cicadas 2011
(Pictures for this post were taken on my iPhone)
Now I’m starting to really get freaked out. It has started. The invasion of the Cicadas is here and there’s no stopping them!
For a small moment, I thought our yard would would escape the invasion. When we purchased our home six years ago, we literally stripped all the old grass and topsoil and replaced them with several inches of fresh dirt and sod. Almost all the landscaping is new. So, I naively assumed that whatever little thirteen-year-old creatures existed below the surface had been dug up and carried away. Not so.
On Sunday, my daughter, Mary Crimmins, twittered, “If you haven’t done it yet, go out with a flashlight and see the Cicada’s come out. They will be all around trees. Pretty gross!”
I didn’t take her advice, but I should have. Because by the next day, they were already out in full force at my house. I took a look around the yard, assessing the situation and the first thing I saw were these empty “shells” attached to everything.
On my pansies.
All over my Yoshino cherry tree.
Even stuck to my concrete steps.
After thirteen years (some for seventeen years), buried way underground, the Cicadas crawl their way upward and outward.
There are hundreds of these little holes all over my yard. The ones I can see the best are in my flower beds.
Apparently they mostly come out at night. Once they have emerged into the moonlight (that should be a clue) they climb higher and attach their legs securely to something and then begin to break free. I’m not sure how long that takes, but apparently only a few hours.
When they first emerge and stretch their wings their bodies are white. Slowly they turn whatever color they are meant to be. There are many varieties. We happen to have the ones with the huge, eerie red eyes. Creepy!
Can you find him?
Against the fuschia rhododendrons and bright green leaves they can almost look pretty. Almost.
Here’s a video which shows the whole process from start to finish. Even the Enya soundtrack can’t make these guys “pretty.” Enjoy!
One final note. I heard tonight that by this Sunday, the 15th, all the cicadas will be out. So, apparently, what I’ve seen so far is only the beginning. I can hardly wait. I think it’s time for a trip to Colorado.
Question: Do you have cicadas where you live?