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Old Jun 9, 2007, 3:06 PM   #1
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Hi All,

Finally heard some of the 17-yr Cicadas in a local forest preserve for the first time, and went to check them out. I just looked for the different stages of emergence, so these aren't all of the same guy. When they come out closer to my place, I'll be looking to document one from the time it comes out of the ground to when it flies off, but seeing how slowly these guys were progressing, I might not have the patience. Of course, these guys might just be ones that had died during the process, so it might be quicker after all. . .

I just used the Lumiquest on board flash diffuser for these

Approaching some isolated trees in and area where the sounds were the loudest, the ground was littered with just emergent grubs, not-yet-ready-to-fly adults, and mostly empty shells. I tried to not step on any live ones, but it was virtually impossible to tell where to step. . .

Here's a the grub as it comes out of the ground

The shell is split in the back, and it starts to push its way out

. . .pushing some more. . .

. . .and more. . .

. . .until it's finally out (whew!) -- now to dry out those wings. . .

. . .Leaving this behind

. . .Almost dry, and ready to fly and find a mate. . .

These guys were everywhere. I was constantly brushing them off my legs as they climbed anything that was vertical, apparently trying to get some height for their first take off. They look intimidating with those black bodies and spooky red eyes, but they're harmless -- but pretty creepy when you have a bunch of them crawling up your legs. . .:?

The local birds were having a field day. I saw them chasing these very visible and rather slow and clumbsy fliers through the air, and was able to observe a starling and surprisingly a sparrow eath catch one in mid-air and fly off with it.

From what I've heard, they taste like almonds -- not really curious myself. . .:-)

I'll get more shots when they start coming out closer to home.


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Old Jun 9, 2007, 3:35 PM   #2
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Nice shots. I see a few of these each year on a tree in my front yard. I've tried to get my daughters to see how neat this transition is, but they can't get past how ugly they are.
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Old Jun 9, 2007, 4:23 PM   #3
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That is quite a documentary in pictures! We had our swarm about 4 years ago and it was pretty intense. Not looking forward to 3 years from now when the next cycle occurs. Excellent pictures!

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Old Jun 9, 2007, 5:04 PM   #4
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Actually they taste like almond chicken.:?
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Old Jun 9, 2007, 5:09 PM   #5
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nice series scott. was this of the same bug?? if so , how long did the transition take??

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Old Jun 9, 2007, 5:50 PM   #6
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Excellent shots, plus a story line to go with them.

Really keeps you hooked to see the next shot and so on down the line.


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Old Jun 9, 2007, 5:56 PM   #7
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I remember those from when I was a kid in southern Wisconsin. Nice series.

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Old Jun 9, 2007, 6:07 PM   #8
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Much nicer to see them this way without being deafened in the process, although when reminded I can still hear them in my mind and remember those sleepless nights!

Thanks for posting these.
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Old Jun 9, 2007, 11:45 PM   #9
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It must be summer coming, the sound of cicadas always start here in Australia in summer.
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Old Jun 10, 2007, 8:19 AM   #10
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Greetings Scott

The 17 yr. cicadas came through the Baltimore area several years ago..At the time people were not paying very much attention to them after the expected "Media" Blitz" hyping their arrival wore off..

Their previous arrival back in the early 70's when I was a senior in high school was a different matter..The hatch was so large that we had to sweep them off of sidewalks, cars; & rake them off the grass before mowing the lawn..

Everywhere you walked for weeks all you could hear was CRRRUNCH, CRRRUNCH, CRRRUNCH..And as macho boys pretending to be men, we had to dare each other to eat them..I can't remember exactly who started it, but soon if you hadn't "proved yourself" by eating one in front of a crowd of others, then of course you were called all the usual manhood challenging names..

I must have eaten 20 of the critters by the time the hatch was over!!..They actually tasted pretty good..The CRUNCH was the best part!!

No pictures surrive from those days so yours brought back the memories..

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