Monday, June 3, 2013

17 years ago I was in college...17 years from now I'll be 55...

I have been finding 17-year Magicicadas everywhere and it is so cool!  I think I was in Australia during my junior year of college the last time this happened and the time before that, well, I was 4 so I don't remember.  I am just so excited about this crazy insect...when I went to let my chickens out last week (5/30/13) at 6:20 a.m. I found these:



I was so excited that I called my husband, on the phone, from the back yard, so he could come check it out.  He thought it was pretty cool too!  There were 8 cidadas just on the gate of our fence, in various stages of maturation...the white ones are the newly emerged and they darken as their exoskeletons harden. 

Then, Saturday night (6/1/13) when my husband went out to lock up the chicken coop he came in the house to tell me that he had found some nymphs crawling around.  So out I went to see for myself.  I found a bunch and took some video.  We saw about 10-15 that night.  We saw about 15-20 more the following evening...it's like a treasure hunt!

The calling of the males is not a continuous drone at our house in New Paltz, NY but in nearby areas it is certainly noticeable.  I was driving with the windows up, AC on and radio blasting and could hear the noise over that!  I had to stop and open the windows and have a listen. 

It's such a bizarre life cycle and I'm so glad I have the chance to see and hear and be present for it!  It will probably go by way too fast, and then we will be Magicicada free until 2030.  I will be 55.  I can't imagine what state the world will be in at that time, but I hope it's a hospitable place for these interesting insects!  

We don't seem to have as many as other nearby areas.  At Tillson Lake (Shawangunk NY) this afternoon the ground was littered with cast exoskeletons and tons of holes from where the nymphs emerged.  We also found cicadas in various stages of arrested emergence or with morphological problems like shriveled wings, or insects that couldn't seem to free themselves from their nymphal covering. I also found a huge pile of wings...



Check out this great video...it sums it up nicely. 
Magicicada Video

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