Actually, I’m a bit slow off the mark. Brood I is emerging this year, and has already peaked. My favorite thing about periodical cicadas is their wonderful Genus name: Magicicada. They are indeed magical, and being in the middle of a periodical brood emergence is a special experience!
What’s a brood? Periodical cicadas exist in different regions, and have cycles of emergence that are not in sync. There are 12 groups of Magicicadas with 17 year life cycles, and 3 groups of Magicicadas with 13 year life cycles. Oh, and to make that more confusing? There are 7 species of Magicicada.
You can see the full US Brood Map here; Brood I is mostly in the upland areas of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Connecticut and Maryland will get their chance to experience the magic next year, with Brood II.
Here’s a great video about periodical cicadas–including David Attenborough! You can also see Sir Attenborough lead a male ciciada on with hopes of romance. Check Cicada Mania for the latest on all things Cicada, and you can see constatly updated emergence maps at magicicada.org
If you see cicadas hanging around and you aren’t in a Magicicada emergence area, you probably are hearing Dog-Day Cicadas. They have a much less complex life cycle.