Brooding

Princeton Cemetery.
Three pictures of the same individual at the Charles H. Rogers Refuge

New York, except possibly for parts of Long Island, are not in the range of Brood X Magicicada genus periodical cicadas. We had to travel to Princeton, NJ, practically their northeastern-most outpost, to see them. And hear them: a thrumming incantation, background for much of our time in the town.

Exuvia of the larval form here, along with emergent adult.
This is the form in which they spend all those years underground, sucking on plant roots.
Then, some seventeen years after their birth, they emerge, break out of the carapaces, unfurl their wings, and set about mating.

In the thick of it, they’re en masse. Underfoot, piled up along the edges of streets, hanging off trees by the thousands. Throbbing in the trees like some otherworldly dynamo.

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