Report From The Back 40

More on the creepy, crawlies….it’s just what’s up. (This is a report after all.) We had a lovely thunderstorm very early this morning and awoke to a warm, soft day. The trees, grasses, and everything else has had a washing. The streams and rivers are running a bit faster, though the Kansas River last Monday looked to us to be nearly topping its banks. I imagine it has swelled almost to the overflow point by now. After so many years of dry weather, these last two have brought such relief. By far the most persistent and loudest critter in our neck of the woods is the Dog-day Cicada. I hear them all the time, but they tend to be everywhere around me except where I am, so I do not get to see them. I walked outside this morning to take in the day. The air was so warm and moist. For a moment, I thought I had stepped out the door and entered Maui! I looked down on the front stoop and there in front of me was a singular Dog-day Cicada. He/she looked to be warming up for the day. What an interesting, beautiful creature this is! I saw ‘prehistoric’ as I studied its features. What wings, too! This tiny beast is a little over 2 inches long and is not only an expert flyer, but an expert caller/singer. They have incredibly strong ovipositors that can pierce the wood of trees, where they lay their eggs. The hatchlings drop onto the ground and burrow into the soil. They then find their way to a tree root and latch onto it as a food source. They stay there until they grow and metamorphose, find their way up to the surface to fly, call to one another, mate, and begin the cycle all over again. Life in all of its variety and wonder never ceases to amaze me! What’s up in your neck of the woods?

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Dog-day Cicada 090816