What’s the buzz?

August 3, 2007


Today’s Theme: Funky. Become a Photo Hunter. Visit the Blogroll.

The Photohunt theme is “Funky”. Back in the day if something was funky, it was pretty cool and maybe a little different. For me this set of pictures fits the bill.

Everyone up this way was anxiously anticipating the arrival of Brood XVII of the 17 year Periodic Cicadas in June. My daughter posted pictures she took at Lemon Lake County Park in this post. I guess it was pretty wild in some areas; literally wheelbarrows full of the empty hard shells. They came, and left, and we didn’t have one. Not one. It was a bit of a disappointment actually, but I knew my buddies would be back in August, as always.

So, look what I found hanging on the cable wire tonight! This is an Annual Cicada, also known as a Dog Day Cicada.


They’re different than the Periodic Cicadas in that they have anywhere from a two to five-year cycle. Their broods overlap and as a result, they visit us every year in the dog days of summer. I suppose that’s where the name came from. For me its a sign that summer is coming to a close and school is about to start.


Dog Day Cicadas are larger than the Periodic Cicadas which have bright red eyes. The pretty light green wings on this one will dry shortly and become even more transparent with darkened veins.


I don’t usually get to see the show I did tonight, although I can tell they are here by the music they make and the empty shells that are left on the side of the house.


Sometimes they cruise by in flight, bumping into things and dropping to the ground. My first response is to swat them away, but they are harmless really. This one looks to be close to the end of his cycle because usually they hold their wings close to the abdomen. This link has some really outstanding photos of the adult Dog Day Cicada.


Anyhoo, I love this stuff. I love that I can actually take these pictures, run inside and pop the memory stick in my computer and see the pictures in seconds. Then I can search the web to see what I have found. How cool is that?

When I was a kid my mom bought me many little picture books of insects and butterflies and moths. I also had nets and screen boxes. I would spend hours in the fields catching bugs to bring home and find in the books. Many, many life lessons were learned this way.

In the fall I would catch wooly worms and watch them make cocoons, waiting patiently until spring to see what they would turn into. One year my mom and I found that the huge and beautiful Polyphemus and Cecropia moths would hatch on the side of the high school under the bright lights late at night. We drove over many times to just sit in the grass and watch the show.

I love that the there are still joys like this.

Funky as it may be.


14 Responses to “What’s the buzz?”

  1. mjd Says:

    As you might guess, I love stuff like this too. You have a wonderful series of pictures in this post plus a fine science lesson about cicadas.

  2. meeyauw Says:

    This is a great post. Really interesting. I wish I could find a mother hatching like you did. We got some beautiful photos of moths this summer.

  3. Mike Goad Says:

    Great images.

    Right now, it’s deep summer here in Arkansas and the droning of the cicadas just about drowns out the sound of almost everything else. Still two full months until we normally start getting cooler weather.

    Have a great weekend!.

  4. Cazzie Says:

    Tis a weekend of creepy crawlies here too…we just watched a movie caller Arthur and the invisibles…it was great

  5. corky Says:

    Great pictures. I haven’t seen a cicada in like 10 years. And I agree with you, computers are amazing!

  6. nessa Says:

    Amazing and very interesting.

  7. giveitatry Says:

    That is very interesting and cool. I never really knew what a cicada was. I have heard of them, but this was a mini lesson. THANKS!

  8. milkandhoney Says:

    That is too cool! Hey, do you still have those pictures of me with the Luna moth?

  9. tod Says:

    Cool. I would love to experience them en-masse in real life. I find them creepy but fascinating. Thanks for sharing.

  10. gawilli Says:

    Sarah, I have that photo at work on my desktop! I will e-mail it to you and I both at home.

  11. daddy d Says:

    This post is even beter since you did the science. Nice work.

  12. Tink Says:

    Awesome photos! I was always creeped out by their leftover shells. *Shudder* Still am actually. 🙂

  13. […] want to pick it up and look at it. That is if it will sit still long enough. If not, I try to get a picture. This brings me […]

  14. music Says:

    very interesting.
    i’m adding in RSS Reader

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