"Here they come," writes Watershed Post reader Penny Johnson, who snapped this photo of cicadas emerging in a West Hurley garden at 8am this morning.
This year marks the emergence of Brood II, a group of 17-year cicadas in the Northeast that have spent most of the last two decades underground. And it has begun: As the soil eight inches below the surface hits 64 degrees, larval cicadas are emerging from the ground to molt, mate, lay eggs, and die.
In some areas of Staten Island and elsewhere around the Northeast, the early risers have already awakened, to be followed by their fellows when the soil sustains a temperature of around 64 degrees. In patches of parkland near a lake, the empty husks of the nymph-stage bugs are everywhere, left behind wherever a creature squeezed out of a gap in its shell like an extraterrestrial in a Ridley Scott movie.
Catskills readers: Have you seen cicadas near you? Let us know when and where at email@example.com -- and send photos if you have them. You can also report cicada emergences to Radiolab's Cicada Tracker, a citizen science project that is mapping the emergence of Brood II in real time.