The Cicadas were incredible this year in the sense that we were able to see so many of them along the fence molting. The minions and I learned quite a bit about them this past Summer! We were able to watch around 10 molts or so, usually there were multiple going on at the same time. This is a progression of sorts that shows the process the cicadas go through.
They start off by crawling out of little holes in the ground and work their way up trees or fences, decks... Anything they can cling onto.
Then they start moving around and pulsing a bit and create a crack in the back of the shell that they squeeze themselves out of. I was able to get a video of this and it's neat to watch.
Once their upper body is out they work themselves into this horizontal position so their wings can start to unwrap themselves.
They stay horizontal for a little while and then do a crunch and pull their lower half out and cling to their shell while their wings continue to straighten and harden. Most of the ones we saw stayed in this position for quite a while as well.
When they've had enough, they crawled to the top of the fence and flew off to meet their friends. The whole process took a few hours on average.
Here are some other friends we met over the Summer.