Open Story: Abuzz about cicadas

Editor's Note: This story is a collaborative effort of CNN journalists and iReport contributors to tell the story of cicadas' emergence in 2013.
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  • Brood II cicadas are emerging in late spring 2013 after 17 years in hiding
  • iReporters are posting stories about local cicada invasions
  • Have you spotted or heard cicadas? Record audio or share photos and video

(CNN) – Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Bzzzzzzz. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.


The song of cicadas is a soundtrack for late spring, filling the air with a hiss that can be distracting for some.


Cicadas are colorful, fascinating creatures that make otherworldly noises.


Their life story is perplexing. They crawl into the ground for 17 years, stagger out, mate noisily, lay some eggs and then die.


Having a tragic fate only adds to their intrigue.


CNN decided to invite readers to send in their cicada stories and plot the iReports on an interactive map.


This year, people are witnessing the "Brood II" group's emergence.


There are 12 broods that emerge after 17 years, and three broods that come out after 13 years. Emergence generally takes place between April and June, although factors including weather patterns can affect these timelines.


Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia are expected to see the bulk of the activity this year. The map of iReports should show a similar pattern.


For those living in places where cicadas are appearing, now is the perfect time to take a backyard safari.


Don your khakis, grab a magnifying glass, and don't forget your camera and a microphone. Bivouac tents are optional.


If you're seeing the red-eyed bugs or hearing their buzz, take a moment to record the sound, shoot a video or send us a snapshot of the cicadas in your backyard, or your neighborhood.


Show us what's buzzing near you. We'd love to listen in.