Thank you, Tom Wildoner, for sharing these photos yesterday (June 9, 2013) at EarthSky Photo on Google+. Tom said that, yesterday, a large 17-year cicada hatch showed up in Carbon County, Pennsylvania. The debut of a new generation of Brood II cicadas is in full bloom now in the U.S. Northeast. These 17-year cicadas live out most of their long lives as nymphs underground, but, each 17 years, they crawl out of the ground for a three-to-four-week festival of singing and mating. Afterwards, they die.
Early estimates suggested there might be as many as “30 billion” or “1 trillion” cicadas hatch in the U.S. Northeast this year. Estimates for the 2013 cicada population aren’t in yet, but, so far, reports suggest that the 2013 hatch of Brood II 17-year cicadas has been very localized, with some places getting many and other places very few. An article in the Huffington Post on June 7 suggested that:
… in some places their populations may be getting spottier due to urban development.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.