Cicada Days

Cicada adult and nymphal skin

In addition to sunflowers, late summer is epitomized by the emergence of the cicadas. Those giant, loud insects.

I was hoping to find one low enough on the trees for me to photograph easily, and a few days ago I was rewarded with two of them.

This one had just emerged from its nymphal skin, the brown, dry thing to which it’s clinging in this photo. The skin, which is like a thin shell, remains attached to the tree and so lets you know how many have come out there. It’s where the loudness of the courting adults begins, after they are fully emerged and have had a chance to get their wits about them.

But the main treat in this photo is the emerald green wings, somewhat backlit by the sky.

Tough lighting here, in the shade at sunset. I cranked the ISO up to 1600, stood on a chair because I didn’t have a ladder handy, and took some shots and video, handheld. Processed in Adobe Lightroom to bring out the shadow detail, tame the extreme contrast, and tone down the noise due to the high ISO. I think it turned out quite well given the conditions.

The yellow out of focus blobs in the background are the setting sunlight on some of the elm leaves. It makes it look like fall has begun, but we’re nowhere near that late in the season yet. It’s still mid August. It makes for an interesting effect, though, so I was glad to have it in the composition.

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