With the end of spring, the Brood X cicadas are finally gone, together with their song.
After 17 years under ground (17 years — a measure of life?) they have emerged for a final dance.
It’s precisely choreographed, and slow.
Who taught them all this?
Then, after a very long embrace, they rest. They now have all the time in the world.
Here are 30 minutes of cicada song, fading into rain at the end.
A week after the first emergence, the cicadas from Brood X are still coming, they and their exoskeletons are everywhere.
There is no point of hiding.
Instead, leaving the exoskeletons for the birds creates an essential diversion.
That the birds live in the land of plenty this year allowed me to harvest for the first time the cherries from my weeping cherry. Tiny, tart, and tasty.
They just have three weeks. Every second counts. Maybe we should live like that, too.
So here is one of our new friends, up close, with the two big eyes and the three small ocelli.
Reduced distance to the unknown is disconcerting, so I turned off color to create the illusion that we are seeing something abstract, not a living being.
As in Julio Cortázar’s short story Axolotl, the question arises who is looking at whom here.
Are we as different to them as they are to us?
After a glorious night, most of the emergence is done, or at least paused, as it is a cold morning here.
The imagos have matured over night and blackened. I didn’t know that they can have different eye colors.
The one of top decided to move a little, and to let go:
Some of them look weary into the future. The birds have been particularly loud this morning.
Here is one I rescued after it falling to the ground.
After a few cold nights it finally got warmer, and the cicadas from Brood X are finally here. Some of the nymphs need directions.
The shedding of the exoskeleton takes about an hour and is a dramatic spectacle.
When I saw the m it was already getting dark, so I had to help a bit with the light. Below they are half emerged, but still use the support of their shell.
When dry enough, they emerge completely, and rest for another 15 minutes.
When the wings are dry enough, the imagos will move away from their exoskeleton and start unfolding.
There is no looking back … Life can begin, again.