Thursday, March 02, 2006

Cicada, the famous Seventeen-Year Locust

This wonderful six-minute video tells the life cycle of these remarkable insects. Watching it may calm your frayed nerves. Take a moment to relax and enjoy. I remember as a child in Kentucky finding and collecting the little brown shells of these creatures and hearing stories about them. It was an exciting event finally to see one emerge from that little hull in real life. The adult creature is three times as big as it should be compared to the shell from which it came. At first the wings are soft and worthless, the body is too tender to do anything but dry out and form a carapace. But after a while the work is done and the adult takes flight for the first time with no practice, zipping off into the sky with the speed of a bee. Sometimes we caught them to be held captive for a while. They made the most incredible noise in a mason jar. We called them jar-flies.

Thanks again to Abbas Raza and the other folks at 3Quarks for their wonderful way of keeping up with the world in all its wonder. Theirs is one of the richest repositories of variable information that I have seen since Arts and Letters Daily. They make me want to quit work and just read and study all day long. Here is the link to this morning's post that led me to this video.

No comments: