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Thursday, May 13, 2004

They're Everywhere 

Okay, so on and off I've been mentioning the Brood X 17-year periodic cicadas (Magicicada septendecim, M. cassini, and M. septendecula; the ones in our yard thus far seem to be mostly Magicicada cassini). The D.C. metro area is in the heart of cicada central, and it's only going to get worse between now and the end of May with the invasion ending by mid to late June.

At this stage, the males don't seem to be singing too much, or I haven't noticed the humming yet, but the nymph's shells as well as live and dead cicada seem to be everywhere all of the sudden. This morning, Evelin and I stepped out to check on the garden, and I noticed shells by the thousands on the irises, the fig tree, the ground, and just about every other surface in the yard, including the lilypads in the pond (and that's not counting the ones I had to scoop out of the pond -- they're too big for the goldfish to eat).

Cicadas on the irises (1). Cicada on a lilypad. Cicadas on the irises (2). Cicada shells on the fig tree.
(Click on an image for a bigger picture.)

One good thing is that since they're tunneling up from as deep as 9 feet (2.75 meters) below ground, our yard is getting nicely aerated this year.

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