|A periodical cicada out of the ground after 17 years and enjoying his salad days. Click to enlarge.
|A shed cicada skin attached to a leaf.
They crawl out of the ground in an incompletely developed form called a nymph, then attach to a surface and shed their outer skin (exoskeleton) and emerge as adults. Males fly off to sing in the trees. Females are attracted to the songs. Couples mate. Females lay eggs on twigs. The adults die after about three weeks. In six to ten weeks, the eggs hatch into tiny nymphs and fall to the ground. They burrow down. And there they stay, sucking on roots, until before you know it, 17 years have passed, it is time for the brood to emerge.
|The ground was full of holes recently vacated by cicadas.
I saw them near the Stony Kill Farm Environmental Educational Center in Wappinger Falls. If you want to look for them, drive north on route 90 past the farm with your windows open. When you hear a loud whirring that suggests a giant spaceship overhead, you have found swarmaggedon. Or was that cicadapocalypse?
|There were piles of shed skins and dead adults on the ground.
|We'll be back in 2030! :-)