Every 17 years, cicadas emerge from the ground for a few months of mating frenzy — the spring break of the insect world. Then they go back to living underground.

There are different colonies or ‘”broods” of cicadas across the country, and this spring Brood 2 will emerge. And Brood 2 is in Virginia (as well as Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.)

If it’s anything like when Brood X emerged in Ohio (when I was living there) get ready for a very, very loud spring. It was . impressive, to say the least.

I took this picture in my backyard in 2004:

Five cicadas on some leaves

That was one random plant; those things were everywhere. And loud.

And if you know cicadas (pronounced “sick-AAY-duhs”), you know that they shed their shells, which are creepy in their own right. So you make it through the spring only to be confronted with this:

(Click to enlarge. Wait, don’t.)

Cicada shells

So. happy spring, everyone!