A cicada perches on a leaf of grass at Virginia’s Bull Run Regional Park. The full brood of cicadas is expected to emerge en masse in late May or June. Photos by Jenny Marder.
After an afternoon hunting for cicadas on Thursday, I finally discovered a nice crop of them in a nest of poison ivy in Virgina’s Bull Run Regional Park. It took some scouring, but then there they were, with their veiny golden wings and bright beady red eyes, clinging to grass and leaves and tree bark.
And the signs of them were probably more visible than the creatures themselves. Their exoskeletons, which they shed after molting from nymphs into winged adults, littered the ground and tree trunks.
Their tunnels, especially, were everywhere you looked. A sign perhaps of many more to come?
The brood II cicadas are expected to emerge en masse in late May or June through these tunnels they’ve dug from under the earth to its surface. The nymphs have been living quietly underground for 17 years, sucking on plant roots.
I suspect this is only a preview to the possibly million cicadas per acre that science and history have promised us. The ones I found were docile and quiet — no sign yet of the hundred-decibel mating shrieks for which the U.S. East Coast is bracing.» Read More ...