Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cicadas are coming

A fully-emerged cicada on a beech tree near Cedar Hill
photo by M. Winn
Posted by Picasa

It's mid-August and the loud mechanical sounds of calling male cicadas can be heard during the day throughout Central Park. After dark you can watch the lovely, green-winged insects emerging from their brown nymph-cases at various park locations. The east end of Cedar Hill, where the path from Fifth Ave. and 79th St. intersects with the north/south path to the Model-boat Pond is one good place to search.The periphery of Turtle Pond is another. The transformation generally takes place on smooth tree trunks.

Don't forget to bring your flashlight and plenty of batteries: the amazing process can take a few hours. But take my word for it, the hours will seem like minutes if you luck upon a nymph about to emerge.