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TRAVEL, PHOTO, NATURE (permalink) 07.14.2011
it wouldn't take this long on sesame street. sheesh.
after returning from our hike i went to string up a clothes line to hang our wet and sweaty clothes. in searching out a suitable tree trunk for my first tie i happened upon a cicada emerging from its shell. the kids have found a crazy number of the spent brown carcasses and even plenty of the meaty, green cicadas, but we've never seen one in transition. excited at the find i called the kids over to watch, which they exuberantly did, but when it took more than three minutes for the hatching to occur they slowly fell away one after another until it was just again me watching.

knowing my only alternative time-killer was hanging a bunch of foul and soiled clothes, most of which were not even mine, i milked the slow-moving entertainment. when i first saw the guy, he was struggling to pull his tail end out of the shell. i was most excited to see him free his wings and pump them with blood (that being part of the process as far i know). when i first noticed him, there was a solitary ant racing up and down the length of his body, dashing about as if looking for lost keys or something. i found the ant annoying and was sure the cicada did as well in this moment of birth and triumph. five minutes later there were ten to fifteen ants frenetically traversing the poor fellow's frame. within ten minutes the images below show the scene. i honestly couldn't tell if the cicada's movements were in attempt to free himself from the shell or shake the ants from his body. they looked so small and innocuous next to his large and seemingly armored skin to do him harm beyond perturbing him. but they definitely caught him with his pants down and in time the poor hatchling proved to not have enough energy in his nubile frame to contend with the ant swarm and his flailing slowed and then stopped altogether. nature is beastly.

i term this series, ALMOST.

click to enlarge ... a lot (2048 x 1536)

click to enlarge ... a lot (2048 x 1536)

click to enlarge ... a lot (2048 x 1536)

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