Cicadas: in the beginning
photo by M. Winn
This is what to look for if you want to see the spectacle of an emerging cicada: the brown nymph slowly crawling up a tree trunk. At some point the homely creature comes to a stop -- at eye level if you're lucky. Be patient. The show is about to begin. Just keep watching.
PS Cicada transformation from nymph to adult only happens at night. That's why so few people have witnessed it.