Sunday, June 03, 2007

The year of the cicada

So we have cicadas this year. WE don't have cicadas - as in us, personally. We don't have any cicadas in our yard or in our neighborhood, but they are out and about in the nearby towns... I'm thrilled that they are not in our backyard, but yet they are close enough to go see and then go home;)

I have been telling the girls about the cicadas for weeks, but we were all disappointed when May 22 came and went and we didn't see any. Apparently, they did not migrate in this direction 17 years ago, so we have none. I wanted to see and hear them but I wasn't sure if they were nearby. The other day we were on our way home from the doctor's office and I spotted some. I was quite excited and stopped the car, got all three girls out and we just looked in awe at the tree FULL of bugs and shells. The ground was covered in empty shells. But there was no noise - very disappointing.

A friend of mine told me that she could hear the cicadas from the next town over a week before they came out by her house. I've heard them here and there, but today... we heard them in full force. We went out to Cornbread's grandparent's house and had to drive down 143rd to Midlothian Turnpike. We had the air on and I could kind of hear them and turned the air off and opened the windows. I was so excited to hear the buzz! On our way home it was louder and in more places... Cornbread had not yet seen them so we found a tree with a bunch of them on and stopped for a view. Here is what we saw:

This tree has a bunch of them, but they all kind of blend in with the bark. You can see them if you look closely:
This tree shows it a little bit better, but there aren't as many:
Here is the sidewalk next to the tree:
And the ground beneath the tree:
This is kind of blurry, but it is a cicada pre-molting (before it comes out of its shell):
Here we have one working its way out of it's shell:
And after coming out and it's wings drying out - a real, live cicada!
This is the grass by a couple of trees. I had walked up to the trees and thought I was walking on shells, but then they started flying! I was a little grossed out because I had sandals on:)
How awesome is it that we get to be a part of this? That God puts us smack dab in the middle of his creation and lets us witness His amazing creativity? He is incredible and the fact that I get to stand in front of a tree in complete awe of Him and his creation makes me so happy! Come on - I know they're kind of gross, but how cool is it that these things bury in the ground and stay there for 17 years - how in the world do they know when to come up? Only God can orchestrate something this cool!

(If you don't know about the 17-year cicadas, this will explain everything. Even if you have some knowledge, the video is great so take a look.)


amanda 10:09 AM  

Wow...thanks for posting those pics! I remember the piles and piles of shells around the trees from 17 years ago...I was the lawn mower in our family and it was SO gross cutting around the trees...crunch, crunch, :)

Amy 1:34 PM  

My mom really needs to read this post because I don't think she's as thrilled about the cicadas as you are! She said they are so loud! There was actually cicadas when I was in Indonesia (I believe they are there all the time and I'm not sure if they are same kind, but look very similar) and the people eat them for a snack. They don't eat them raw, but cook them over a fire and then break the wings off. I actually got to eat one and it didn't have much of a taste.

amanda 2:50 PM  

Yummm...protein. ;)

mrseagen 7:58 PM  

toads yes, these creatures NO
I'm gonna have nightmares now!

Heaven Sent 8:49 PM  

Cool pix... especially the ones of them coming out of the shell. The whole idea of these ugly little guys is pretty amazing. Even if they are ugly little guys. ;)

blackpurl 10:55 AM  

Wow! thanks for the photos and for the info on cicadas. I don't think I have ever seen or heard one!

Mommy Brain 7:56 AM  

We too terribly disappointed not to have any in our area...I think it's field trip time over here...I remember growing up in Oak Forest...their were thousands of them covering our fence and even with all the windows closed the sound was incredible!

mrseagen 12:08 PM  

OK can we get the bugs off the screen?

JCarey 8:03 AM  

Teens love cicadas too - BC has eaten one burned over a fire - something her mom never ventured to do and won't unless I am starving!

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