Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cicada Exploration

Have you ever seen brown cicada shells attached to trees and fences? I was thinking the other night that even though we have tons of those in our yard (Caleb likes to collect them), and I've seen a few cicadas in my lifetime, I've never seen the actual live bug inside the shell (called a nymph). On a whim, I grabbed a flashlight and headed to our fence, where we find most of our shells. I hunted around in the dirt, and quickly found exactly what I was looking for! A nymph, covered in dirt, had pushed out of the ground and was jerkily heading toward the fence, seeking higher ground. He has to get his job done before morning, when the birds wake up hungry! I grabbed him and stuck him inside a bug jar with a stick, and the waiting and watching commenced. The "big event" happened about midnight that night. I tried to wake Caleb up to show him, but it was almost impossible. I'm glad we had already found a video on YouTube for Caleb to watch. The next morning, we dubbed him "Flyer of the West" and released him. It was a poignant moment. (ha!)

Cracking open with the cicada bulging out.

He hung like this for a very long time.

Completely out and wings expanded. Now just to let them dry.

All dry by morning!

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