A Molting Cicada Steals the Show at a Kentucky Festival’s 25th Anniversary
There was an unexpected star of the show over the weekend at the annual MultiCultural Festival in Owensboro, KY! That festival, by the way, celebrated its 25th anniversary here in town and a huge crowd turned out to enjoy the festivities on an absolutely gorgeous Saturday morning and afternoon. The festival featured amazing cuisine, lively performances on the main stage and a variety of booths dedicated to local cultural groups and nonprofit agencies who serve them. Among those booths was one for the H.L. Neblett Community Center.
My friend Stephanie Bertram was running that booth and discovered that she had an unexpected guest join her. This guy!
Yes! A cicada set up shop on a laundry basket of supplies and started its molting process. Stephanie was fascinated by it. So was I. And so was the crowd at the festival.
The little guy captured quite the audience and, over the course of a couple of hours (which is about the length of time it takes the process from beginning to end), he put on quite a show as he emerged.
Here's Stephanie chatting about it!
In case you’re interested, “molting” is the process by which a nymph cicada emerges from its exoskeleton. It’s actually the very first thing they do when they surface from the ground. Their very first mission is to find a suitable place to transform into an adult. On this particular day, for this particular cicada, that ‘suitable place’ was a laundry basket with an audience.
Shortly after the process was finished, Stephanie moved the cicada from the basket to a nearby tree.
You’d think, with all of this pageantry of nature, the cicada would be around for a while. But it won’t. The average life expectancy after emerging into adulthood? A whopping four to six weeks. Bu don’t feel too sorry for them. During that four to six week period, there’s only one real mission- to make more cicadas. I suppose you could say they’ve mastered making the most of the time they have left!