A Chick Does Tropical Garden

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Creepy, Cool, and Sometimes Crunchy Cicada

Went on another walk today. It was a bit hot, but there was a pretty nice little breeze going on. Had my dog by my side, panting away.

We walked down one of my favorites "paths"...which are really narrow paved roads that zig and zag in a nice little fashion through the neighborhoods. Wide enough for bikes, or for a couple walking with their dog. I was amongst the latter, but didn't have the 2nd half of my "couple" -- only my dog. There are several cool bridges along these paths, as well. Sometimes alligators lurk below, which is why you see these signs around here:



We saw a lot of critters out today -- including a miniature beagle (which she bowed down to), and a chocolate lab (which she wanted to "tackle"). Why she does what she does with some dogs and not another is BEYOND ME. I also don't understand that when she sees a squirrel she goes crazy, but when there is a little tiny chihuahua or other type of rat-like dog, she doesn't think it is a squirrel and go after it. Looks like a squirrel from a distance to me. How do they KNOW that?

But, I did see some other fascinating critters and creatures as well. One in particular ALWAYS creeps me out when I see it. Well, it's actually not the creature itself -- it's what REMAINS of the creature when it is gone. This is the CICADA...



For any of you who do NOT know what a cicada is, you haven't lived in the south. This creature is cousin to the grasshopper, and the "screech" of a single cicada in the trees during the summer months is so loud that you would think you are being attacked by a swarm of locusts. It's the most interesting sound, and you can watch them flit off to another tree, the the noise disappears. So very, very strange. But very cool at the same time. Click on THIS LINK to hear the sound of a tree full of cicadas (from Wikipedia): http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f4/Cicadas_in_Greece.ogg

Each year, cicadas strip themselves of their old selves and put on the new. These guys have no intention of letting the grass grow under their feet. They like change, baby. And change, they do. They have a lifespan of about 2-5 years and in the course of their "youth" they molt their skins. After the final molt off their skin, leaving a crunchy shell and emerge as adults. CLICK HERE to see a Wikipedia animation of the molting process (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cicada_molting_animated-2.gif.). You can read more about cicadas from Wikipedia HERE. These photos are what is left of the skin clinging to a stump I found along my walk.



More critters in my next post... Be sure to come back!!!
GROOVY COOLNESS GADGET


T.K. Goforth is a musician and author of the well-received book "Chord Piano is Fun!" She also writes a music blog called "Chord Piano Chick's Mostly Musical Musings.
Chord Piano Is Fun

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T.K. Goforth is a musician and author of the well-received book "Chord Piano is Fun!" She also writes a music blog called "Chord Piano Chick's Mostly Musical Musings.
Chord Piano Is Fun