Saturday, August 07, 2010

I like cicadas

I know that lots of people are creeped out by cicadas (17 year locusts) -- both the way their shells look and the way they sound. I like them though!

I'll never forget climbing in my favorite tree in the front yard when I was bout 8 or 9 and putting my hand on a cicada shell. I was so freaked out that I almost fell out of the tree! Ever since then I've been fascinated with them and the sound of their droning takes me right back to my childhood.
Every year, a few of them emerge at the base of the pine tree right next to our house. We hear them for a few days and sometimes see the shells. Two days ago, I got to see an adult right after it had emerged! It was so cool that I had to take pictures and share it.

The just-emerged adult

The shell, left on a leaf

I don't know why I do it, but I always save the shells that I find. I think it's a little sad that a creature lies dormant for 17 years, only to emerge and live for 6 weeks. Maybe it's a throwback to the shell that almost drove me out of a maple tree all those years ago.

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