They come digging and clawing slowly as they make their way to the surface of the earth. They leave behind a dark and dreary hole in the ground that has been their home for a few months up to many years. They climb up the cedar tree reaching for a branch where they can leave behind their useless shell and crawl out to become a flying machine in the southern summer sky. The cedar tree provides a good footing for their prickly insect feet. It is a perfect foil under which many cicada eggs of all types were laid.
Some are able to crawl out of their shells by splitting the back and forcing the shell apart. Some tire before the task is done. All that is left behind are the shells of what used to be and holes in the ground; evidence of the deed....
in the garden....
This Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) was literally covered with cicada shells. The ground underneath was crunchy with all of the shells. Skeeter had it right when she said there were lots of cicadas this year. I have never seen so many in one spot in my garden. It really makes me wonder what goes on under the soil and makes me appreciate the cedar trees even more for the wildlife benefit they provide to the garden.
For an EXCELLENT series of photos showing a cicada emerging from its shell please see this link. It is a perfect series of photos showing the whole process.
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