I don't like to do too many posts of the same type too close together. I like to mix things up a bit so you're not reading about bamboo every day, or seeing endless posts about weeding or whatever. Even so, sometimes circumstances dictate that I need to focus on a single topic more often -- like right now with the 13-year periodic cicadas emerging in St. Louis.
When I wrote the other day that they "emerged today", I should have said they "started emerging today", as it's not a one-day thing. That was Thursday, so today is day 4 of the onslaught, and I'm not sure how much longer it will go.
Things are getting a little crowded -- there are empty shells everywhere, and although the birds are feasting (those that can and do eat larger insects at least), there are still cicadas all over the place. Since it happens so rarely, it's a bit exciting and can't be ignored.
Some cicadas have plenty of room:
Others find it a bit more crowded:
It still amazes me how many of these moultings (if that's the right word) go wrong. After 13 years of development to have problems at this last stage just doesn't seem fair:
Some of the plants are just thick with them. Luckily the shells weigh almost nothing, and that all of them don't emerge at once. If they did, some plants would be crushed I'm sure.
There are a lot more shells up above now:
And the ground is littered with empty shells, those that didn't moult successfully, and some that did but are now crawling toward the tree:
I really don't want to mow the lawn while they're still emerging, but it's getting so long now I may have to:
They just want to get off the ground, as they need to be vertical in order to moult correctly. Trees are great, but anything that they can climb will do:
The cicadas appreciate my newly-planted bamboo too!
I wonder if any animals will eat the empty shells? I wonder if they have any nutritional value?
Now that some of the earliest emergent cicadas are flying, things are getting interesting. I was standing around talking to neighbors yesterday, and cicadas landed on each of us more than once. Some people enjoy this much less than others. One just missed my mouth as I was talking, and hit me in the chin before landing on my chest.
Although they're edible and lots of different recipes exist for cooking cicadas in almost any way imaginable (cookies, anyone?), I'm not keen on trying them, especially when in the middle of a sentence.
A few of them are starting to make little experimental noises too. It's going to get fun here soon!