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His and Her Cicadas

September 14, 2007

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Chers Amis,

We have been pretty quiet on the nature study front lately. The drought left us with a bone dry creek, cracked red clay, thinning grass and clouds of dust.  We finally got a half-inch of rain last night and we hope to get a little more before the systems moves on.  It is darn depressing to see the gardens wither and the trees droop.  Autumn leag drop will come early and muted.  They are curling up and turning already, thirst unslaked, disappointed with the summer heat.  We wonder where all the salamanders and crayfish have gone and when we might see our fungi forests again.

The amphibians and water creatures may be in hiding, but the Dog-day cicadas sing loudly from the treesScan0004
and dive bomb anyone who walks in the lit garage at night.  Slowly they are reaching the ending their life cycles, leaving feasts for the cardinals and other creatures.  Caddie collects dry specimens to dissect.’  Last week she found male and a female cicada ‘mummies’ and today we retrieved them from their temporary resting spots (on top of the fridge) to do a bit of nature study/drawing. Caddie chose to sketch a male(top) and Scarlett, a female (right).  We will revisit them another day and make more annotations with the help of Cicada anatomy, but we are getting ready for another overnight camping trip. Sans skunks I hope :-)!  Check out  Lander University’s  excellent Invertebrate Anatomy OnLine manual.  It has original anatomical drawings and descriptions of 112 species.   I can see it will be useful in the future.  Also, Cicada Mania has a short film clip showing a cidaca’s heart beating and a cicada breathing.  Well, that’s all folks.  It is drizzling, hooray!  Maybe that means mushrooms next week.  We had an amazing ‘bloom’ in July after a little rain.  Fingers crossed for a repeat.

— Marjorie

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 15, 2007 1:11 pm

    Very impressive drawings! Thank you for the links.

  2. Meredith permalink
    September 17, 2007 2:24 pm

    Love the drawings Marjorie and that site you linked it phenominal!! Thanks so much!

  3. September 19, 2007 3:14 pm

    Great sketches! And that website? Amazing and cool sketches there too!

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