Monday, June 3, 2013

Simply Stated {CICADAS}

I didn't mind these guys when they first started to play their love song in my backyard.  I actually thought it was kind of cute the way they were calling to one another.  I laughed at the people who put netting over their trees... thinking to myself "silly people, what are a few bugs going to do to your tree?" HA!! Was I wrong!!  These things are NUTS!  They are EVERYWHERE.  They are huge, the size of a florida palmetto bug AND THEY FLY!!  So take cover if you see one coming, because it will land on whatever body part is in it's path (yes, even your FACE!!).

ISO 400 ~ 60mm ~ f/3.5 ~ 1/400 sec
© Corrie M Avila

I was having a discussion with my husband while we were driving and watching a cicada hang on for dear life on the windshield wiper.  He was asking if they do any damage... I'm like, "hmmm, I don't know ~ let me google it."  So I find out that yes, indeed they do cause damage, to trees to be exact.  (Notice I am no longer laughing at the people who put netting over their trees).  Apparently, after the cicadas mate, the female drills a hole into the tip of the branch and inserts her eggs (400 of them!!).  Several months later, the nymphs crawl down the tree and burrow into the ground to then hang out until the next cicada takeover seventeen years from now.

Supposedly, older trees can handle this and they bounce back... but I gotta tell you, my tree is looking pretty sad.  The leaves on the branch tips are all changing color and starting to die.  The branches are sagging and looking like they've been, well, infested by locusts (which is not far from the truth).

Tree Branch after Cicadas
ISO 400 ~ 300mm ~ f/5.6 ~ 1/640 sec
© Corrie M Avila

I saw this video on the life of a cicada... and I kind of feel bad for them.  They wait underground for seventeen years to live for about six weeks and then die.  It is kind of melodramatic don't you think?

I held off on photographing these guys because they are just plain creepy.  They have eyes like tomatoes (my son's opinion), bodies bigger than palmetto bugs, they fly in a kamikaze fashion, and they are EVERYWHERE.  But today, I decided that I wanted to document a bit of history.  I mean, these guys are only around every seventeen years and all.

ISO 400 ~ 60mm ~ f/3.5 ~ 1/250 sec
© Corrie M Avila

After getting bomb rushed by a cicada, and having one on our windshield wiper, and having one fly into the car (that was a fun one)... we started hearing the word cicada in our conversations.  It went something like this.... Hey honey, did you pick up the cicada? (while I really said "cheese").  Or, "Can you cicada?" (while he really said "catch up").  I'm not kidding, these cicadas have TAKEN OVER in more ways than one.  I'm hoping that we are at the tale end of their six week lifespan.  While I never want to wish for one's demise, this is a little more than I can handle.

Capturing the Moment (literally)

Corrie <3

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