Cicada Cafe

This week’s blog entry will conclude posts of this year’s Periodical Cicada emergence.  As I wrote in the past two blog entries, here in Florence, Alabama (USA) we experienced the emergence of the Brood XIX which emerges from their underground home every 13 years.

During the height of this occurrence one could witness multiple cicadas hanging onto the same tree trunks and branches getting nourishment by sucking the sap out of those plants.

Today’s featured image shows at least six cicadas in view with four of them in focus on the same Crepe Myrtle trunk. There were many others out of this view both higher up on that trunk as well as lower towards the base of the tree.

It was difficult to get a photograph of more cicadas in one place for two reasons.
For one thing I had to approach the tree slowly because many cicadas would fly off as soon as they saw or heard any movement around them.  The second thing that I had to contend with was a Mockingbird who wanted to dive bomb me if she thought that I might be getting too close to one of her young birds that had fallen out of a nearby nest. 

This particular trunk had a dozen or more insects enjoying lunch when I first viewed them. However these four were the only ones left in my camera’s sight after dodging that mama Mockingbird and settling down close to the tree.

Almost all of the cicadas around our apartment complex at this time are dead insects on the ground. The wooded area behind us no longer echoes the loud noises of the male cicadas.

Cicada eggs are now silently growing into insect nymphs and for the next six weeks or so will eat their way out of the tree branches, fall to the ground and spend the next 13 years sucking the sap out of tree roots.

As fascinating as this experience was I am glad that it is over and am not sure that I would look forward to the next emergence in the year 2037!

Click here to view a larger version of today’s image and browse many images on my site.

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