Cissy Cicada stopped by the Bloom office on Tuesday, June 15, to enter the contest. Photo by Rodney Margison
As you might have noticed, millions of Brood X periodical cicadas have descended upon the skies and streets of Bloomington in recent weeks.
We know that, just like people, dogs, and snowflakes, no two cicadas are alike—some are cute, some are gorgeous, and then there are those few with faces only their mothers could love.
Bloom is hosting the first ever Great Bloomington Cicada Beauty Contest, hosted septdecennially (yes, that means once every 17 years). The contest will feature photographs of some of Bloomington’s handsomest cicadas.
To enter, please send a photo of your beautiful cicada to
with the subject line “Cicada.” Be sure to provide your cicada’s name and, perhaps, a short bio about their interests (screaming is a given). [email protected]
The winning cicada photo will be published in the August/September issue of
Below, see a photo gallery of the current entries for Most Beautiful Bloomington Cicada.
“I’d like to introduce you to Cedrick the Cicada,” says Tristen Hendrickson. “Cedrick likes to spend his time thinking EVERYTHING is a tree. Unlike his fellow cicadas, Cedrick is different. He doesn’t only like trees, but is a flower enthusiast. I found him in my flower bed looking at the beautiful blooms. Who doesn’t admire a cicada that has taste?” Photo by Tristen Hendrickson Hewie is looking forward to hardening so that he can launch into flight and sing. He’s been waiting his whole life for this. He would like to remind everyone that all things are possible, change is exciting and sometimes you have to be patient for the best things in life. Photo by Laurie White-eyed Cicada. Photo by Gerry Steele
Charles the Cicada. Photo by Michael Johnson This is Albina, whose name means ‘white’ or ‘fair.’ Photo by Rita Orcelletto Alice, who is under the influence of a psilocybin-laced fungus, enjoys listening to the Grateful Dead. Photo by Jeff Stevens “Meet Sophie,” writes Pam Kendall. “She’s shy—delicate but fierce. She is a beauty. I took her picture in the Oliver Winery gardens right after she shed her exoskeleton.” Photo by Pam Kendall Cyd the Cicada sheds his shell. Photo by Diane Miller “Emerging among the roses, Cece had a fondness for flowers,” says Betsy Trotzke. “After 17 years in darkness, she used her time topside to appreciate the blossoms. Cece may have only traveled up to 50 yards, but with her five discerning eyes she admired the garden — and we admired her. Farewell, Lovely Cece!” Photo by Betsy Trotzke Wise beyond his years, Cicero the Cicada, enjoyed lively discussions. He had the heart and soul of a philosopher longing to be heard. While we humans didn’t understand a single word he said, he died knowing that “nature is short, but the memory of a well-spent life is eternal.” RIP Cicero! Photo by Betsy Trotzke Betsy Trotzke with Cicero the Cicada. Photo by Betsy Trotzke This is Amber. She is new on the dating scene and understands the importance of fresh breath, hence her visit to the local parsley patch. She is looking for a fellow who has similar interests: flying, inspecting vegetation, and sipping xylem. She knows life is short and tries to live each moment to its fullest. She is hoping her partner is like minded. Amber is not looking for long term commitments. She is very independent, COVID-free, and enjoys outdoor concerts. Photo by Lisa Kroll Cyd the Cicada. Photo by Diane Miller Hi, they call me the scream queen.
I’m looking for that perfect mate who will look me in the eyes and scream in my face.
I like strong fliers that prefer to stay close to home.
I like to hang out in large trees with lots of family around all the time. Having a family is very important to me. I’m looking for a mate willing to commit as my time is short, but then again, isn’t life fleeting anyway?
Photo by Alicia Meranda Rachel DiGregorio wears a Bad Knees Tees Brood X hat topped with a real Brood X cicada. Photo by Rachel DiGregorio This is Amber, a friendly cicada with an appreciation for fashion, especially when it matches her eyes and wings. Photo by Ryn Keplinger Sky is a fan of more urban areas than their friends and likes to explore downtown Bloomington. Photo by Ryn Keplinger This cicada is Bai, a shy introvert just coming out of their shell, ready to start screaming with the choir and make friends amongst the other cicadas. Photo by Ryn Keplinger This is Ridley, who enjoys 17-year-long naps and when awake is always out gardening. Photo by Ryn Keplinger “Been waiting SO long for this moment! Now it’s time to make some NOISE and PARTY!!!” says Angel Eyes the Cicada. Photo by Marcia Hart “This is Cecil Cicada,” wrote Johanna Weber. “In addition to the typical cicada hobbies of mating and flying into stationary objects, his behavior at this photo shoot indicated his unique major interest as either chasing large green objects, no matter how many times they are moved away from him, or tasting delicious international treats—perhaps both.” Photo by Johanna Weber Meet Pedar! Pedar likes to sit by the pool and listen to his cousin’s songs. He also likes to climb, and would climb to the top of every tree if he could. Photo by Kate Satterfield “This is Rudolph the Red-Eyed Cicada, named by my 5 year old,” says Kelsey Vaughn. “In addition to screaming and climbing trees, Rudolph enjoys gardening. He sat here on this yellow pillow with me for the afternoon while I worked in the garden, just buzzing away.” Photo by Kelsey Vaughn Cecilia the cicada has been waiting all her life for the Summer 2021 gala. Having spent the majority of her years in the soil of eastern Monroe County, she emerged to shake off her old skin and reinvent herself into the beauty she is today.
Don’t let her good looks fool you, though, as she’s a brilliant student of her surroundings and has become a master finger crawler in her short time above ground. Though she recently received her license to fly, her skills have yet to be well-honed. In the coming days and weeks, she hopes to find her lifelong love and implant her family in a nearby maple tree.
Cecilia’s favorite quote is “Carpe diem!”
Photo by Momi Ford Mae the Cicada. Photo by Joey Like Hi, my name is Ten (as in, perfect ten).
My hobbies include:
Screaming, of course.
Living life to my own song.
Flying, although I’m not the best.
My life goals include finding someone to hang with, and having a family before I die, you know, in the next 3-6 weeks.
Photo by Alicia Meranda