Wednesday, July 08, 2009

It's cicada time!

The familiar screeching chorus fills our afternoons and evenings now. I grew up hearing it, so it's a familiar and even peaceful sound to me. Others I know find it grating and can't stand it. But it's a fact of life around these here parts.

As are these little reminders they leave behind on every grippable surface possible:

Cicada exoskeleton

Cicada exoskeleton

These two were on my mom's front porch today. Oh, there's nobody home; it's just their hard skins they have to leave behind when they grow out of them. And they're scarier-looking than need be. They have no real mouthparts to speak of, so they can't do anything to you. We used to catch them when I was a kid, tie strings around their middles, and fly them in circles. By the time they reach the adult stage, they've already been voracious grubs in the ground and they're finished eating. They're only around for the sex. So it's no big deal to catch an adult and play with him. Often when you grab them they'll make their buzzing, vibrating screech while you're holding them, which is super-cool.

As another bizarre aside... did you know that these exoskeletons will NOT burn? We tried one time... even doused one with flammable liquid... and whatever we used would burn away and the exoskeleton would remain, intact and unmolested. I guess I thought maybe they would melt and get all weird like plastic or something, but they don't.

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