Saturday, May 27, 2017


emerging from the soil
We are getting a front row seat to one of natures epic events: the emergence of the periodic cicadas, also known as magicicadas.  I have no idea how you actually pronounce that, but I say it like magic cicada.

emerging from it's shell and shaping it's wings

The amazing thing is that these creatures are from Brood X, which last came out in 2004.  They are on a 17 year cycle, and should be coming out in 2021, but part of the brood has emerged after only 13 years!

Fully formed but not fully colored

I think enough of them have emerged (we have several hundred emerging from the roots of our largest tree)  that we are essentially seeing the formation of a new brood! 

Magicicadas usually are on either a 13 or a 17 year cycle.  If this brood stays at 13, thanks to the power of prime numbers, the two broods would only crossover after 225 years.

The cicadas themselves are a bit smaller than our annual green cicadas, and they make a sound like a steady throbbing hum, kind of like a flying saucer in a 50s B movie.

Mxyl not eating a cicada
 They don't bite, sting or eat things, which make them very fun to watch and handle.

And they are being eagerly devoured by wildlife (and some people).

One odd thing is that they love Blue Streak's tires. 

I have to remove all the cicadas before I drive anywhere.  Well, I guess I don't have to, but I do!

 And then there are all those shells!  Perfect for learning to multiply by 6 (each shell has 6 legs).

Also perfect for trolling your cousins by covering their car with shells!

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