Saturday, June 16, 2007

Racing the clock

Depending on the species and brood number, the magicicada spends 13 or 17 years underground thriving on tree roots and slowly maturing in preparation for the whirlwind activity of its last 30 days of life.

At the beginning of that last month, cicadas emerge by the billions in a D-Day-like invasion, banking on their sheer numbers to overcome predators, which are many. In that time span, their mission is to emerge, shed their skin, take to the trees, find a mate and lay several hundred eggs each, then die.

Northern Illinois is somewhere in the middle of that last month right now. Some suburban neighborhoods are enduring the nonstop din of the cicadas' mating trill. And the insects are racing the clock before it resets for the year 2024.

Click on pictures to enlarge. Photographs © 2007 James Jordan.

1 comment:

Wanda said...

My life is a whirlwind...I was hoping my last 30 days would slow down!!! Good thing I'm not a bug!

You always show us great pix, and such good information!!