I took my dog for a walk this morning and heard a crunching under my feet. There, smashed to smithereens, were the shells from the cicadas on a nearby tree. The periodical cicadas were continuing to emerge en masse. I happened upon this tree and returned to grab my camera for a few up-close pictures of these fascinating insects at various stages of their life cycle. (In case you want a really good look at them, just click on any of the pictures for an up-close and personal look at these guys.)
Here they can be seen erupting from their exoskeletons that kept them safe for 17 years underground:
I noted the squirrels were snacking on these critters and my dog found them quite entertaining as their flapping wings brushed her nose. And when the insect departs, they leave behind their shell for some lucky child to find:
Once their wings have dried, they soon head off to a nearby tree from our Adirondack chair:
In a few days, the shrill of these devils will be deafening.
28 May 2007 2137: Addendum: Being a t-shirt guy, I couldn't resist...