Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Not Another Cidada Post!

It begins.
When I finished that tricky roofwork last weekend, I was hot and dirty so I stretched out on the porch floor to cool off. I laid there for a few minutes until the dogs came around the corner and discovered me at their level.
It was a little too slobbery to stay prone, so I sat up. That is when I saw this cicada nymph creeping across the cement pad at the foot of the steps.
I caught it and placed it on a stick. It immediately climbed to the top. It seemed to be attaching itself with some fine silky thread by waving it's front legs in a weavery way.
I went about my remaining yardwork, but kept checking for progress.

About 15 minutes later.

A few minutes go by and the wings are unfolding and beginning to expand.

About 30 minutes after it began, an adult Cicada waits for her wings to dry before joining the constantly droning hordes in the oaks of Pure Florida.

Behind the scenes.
Getting these shots involved knowing a little bit about my "prey". It's just like hunting or fishing, if you know your prey's habits, you will be more successful.
In this case, I knew that a cicada nymph above ground is only there for one reason and that is to molt into the adult form.
So, I scooped it up, found an appropriate stick, and clamped it to the same sawhorses I was using to stain the bifold closet doors. When the stick was secured, I simply held the cicada nymph up to the stick and she did the rest.
I just had to stop by every few minutes and take the pictures.
She really did most of the work.
We don't have the mass cicada events that folks up north have been having, ours always seem to be here, but we are not inundated with them.
I had been ignoring cicadas as post material, but I thought you might like this little sequence.
Now, I'm off to the Megalodon exhibit with my beautiful daughter, Emma.
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Ava said...

Oh, the racket those little creatures create! I usually enjoy it until they are so loud I can't hear my television!

robin andrea said...

What a fine serendipitous moment. Great photos of the transition, FC. We haven't seen or heard cicadas here, so I don't think I would have ever recognized what was about to happen. I'm glad you did. It is quite a treat to see this.

Enjoy the day with your beautiful daughter, Emma.

pissed off patricia said...

Excellent camera work, Florida dude. When I was little I would go out every day in the summer looking for and collecting the empty shells. I still want to grab them when I see them. Okay I'll fess up. There is one right here on my desk. I've had it here since last summer. :)

Laura said...

Oh the things I learn when I stop by your site. I can only imagine the things your students learn each day!

Can't wait to hear about the Megalodon exhibit! Hope Emma was very patient with you while you snapped pictures left and right, if not at the exhibit, then on the way there and back... LOL! j/k ;)

SophieMae said...

WoWEEE!!! That is beyond cool! That's positively radicool! If I'm out at night, I always roll down the windows on our road. The forest is full of that continuous cicadian chirping.

threecollie said...

You do nice work...we don't see many of those critters here, but we sure do hear them.

mark gill said...

while being raised with the cicada, have never seen, until now, such excellent photos.

will be so happy when i get back to Florida from Missouri

Cathy S. said...

How did you like Megaladon? Personally, I was a little disappointed. But, now that butterfly rainforest. That was neat. Did you get lots of pictures?

Anonymous said...

I am in awe of these photo shots. I actually love the sound of Cicada's..when we used to live in NC they fascinated me because all I ever saw were the shells! Is this the exhibit up at UF?? Looking forward to how it was...my daughter is also wanting to take the road trip up there to see it. Thanks for stopping by my place and saying hello...I had lunch today with a fellow blogger that was up from Sarasota to do some scalloping and your ears may have been ringing as I mentioned how I enjoy visiting here and learning more about where I live ;)

Sharon said...

Now THAT is COOL! And I thought I was doing good with my killdeer... ;o)
It's like I keep telling my kids, nature happens, and if you don't take your camera with you...you'll miss it!

Floridacracker said...

It is the constant background music of summer. I think my brain filters it out after a while.

I can't imagine summer without cicadas ... or spring or fall for that matter :)
We did have a good time at the museum.

Florida Dude! I like the sound of that! I'm glad you are still in touch with your inner cicada hunting child :)

For someone who doesn't know me, you know me too well. I actually did stop on the way to check for otters to photograph at the Waccasassa bridge!
Glad you liked the cicada morphing.

I know what you mean, sometimes it's deafening ... especially if it rains and you throw in some good frog chorusing.

Thanks. I'm wondering now just how far north cicadas go.

Welcome to Pure Florida!
I hope you can escape the midwest soon!

Cathy S,
The hype was bigger than the shark, that's for sure, but it was still interesting.
You were right, the butterfly thingie was the coolest thing. I really enjoyed the Calusa/South Florida eshibits too.

Danielle B,
So did they get any scallops?
I haven't gone yet this year. The exhibit was okay, the model of a Meg is a framework,symbolic lifesize model. I had pictured something more realistic, so that was a bit of a letdown. The museum itself is a great place tho, and the butterfly exhibit is really neat.

Thanks! I need to drop by and see that killdeer. You're right, gotta have the camera to get the shot!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

I think you forgot to say you need a swell camera, and a good shooter.

Rurality said...

I noticed ours are in fine voice in the past few days.

Nice series of pics!

ImagineMel said...

a little bird told me that it really wasn't fun and games when he got into his room last night...poor you! Completely amazering photos! Wow.

LauraHinNJ said...

It's not warm enough here for them yet. I look forward to their dive-bombing me (not!)

Cool pics, but they are sort of creepy aren't they?

Floridacracker said...

I don't shoot til I see the whites of their eyes.

Thanks, ours are constant.

Definitely alien creepy.

Anonymous said...

FC-As for how far north the Cicadas go, well the first year we moved here they were announcing traffic warnings for the clouds of the 'lil buggers on the highway and folks were actually raking and bagging the dead ones from the lawns beause of the stench! Now that's a lot cicadas! Cool pics! See ya in a few weeks! Lightnin