Monday, April 30, 2012

17-year Cicadas

In Blue Ridge, VA, it's the year for the 17-year cicadas to emerge from the ground.
They crawl up out of the ground, where they've been for the last 17 years. They break, crawl, push, out of their shells or casings, climb or fly (yes, they have wings with orange veins) into the trees, where they live until they mate, and they lay their eggs in the limbs. Apparently, they can be detrimental to trees, because they bore into the wood to lay their eggs.
Once the eggs hatch, the larva drop from the trees onto the ground, bore down in the soil, and hibernate for the next 17 years. Then, the cycle begins again.
About 1 1/2 weeks ago, we noticed holes every in our yard.
Then, we started finding empty shells everywhere. And once we started looking for them, we'd find dozens of them!
This morning, we found them on our trees. One tree was covered with them, but they were on several different trees.

Above is one emerging from it's shell.
They are white when they come out of their shells or casings, but then their color turns to black, with red eyes. YUCK!

The kids gathered them up in buckets to give to the chickens.

And, YES, the chickens love them!!


  1. Interesting..... I am glad that the chickens will eat them!