Choose life. Life is wonderful.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Cicadas and Peter Rabbit

Don’t be too timid or squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

So it is another New Year - 2014. P:-) and I saw the New Year in with some of P:-)'s children and grand children. Great fun and very noisy with 5 little girls under 5.

I have some readers in other countries, especially Canada so I thought I would explain a little about our cicadas that make such a racket over summer.

The new year has been heralded by the high-pitched ring of cicadas. It is a cicada year. We have cicadas every summer but every few years they seem to appear in abundance. Apparently there are about 200 species of cicada in Australia. Below are two different types that I found in my front garden. One is slightly larger than the other and the undersides are different.

 

 A cicada lives as a nymph underground for about 7 years in Australia. Then it emerges and sheds its skin and comes out as a full grown cicada. Below are some pictures of the cicada nymph shell.


These empty shells are found all over the place hanging on trees and shrubs. Once the full grown cicada emerges it only lives for a few weeks.

 Yesterday, I watched a bird land in a tree in my front yard and a cloud of cicadas flew out.

I used my macro lens to take some close-ups of the cicada wings wings.



 I would love to look at the wings under a microscope. I may see if I can borrow one that attaches to the computer.

 I have never been much of a card maker but with my enforced belt tightening I have decided I will have to change that. 

My elder daughter J had a birthday yesterday and I made a simple card with some pictures I happened to have on hand. J loves rabbits so I decorated a simple card and envelope with Peter Rabbit pictures.




And as a pure indulgence I made the collage below of pictures from the card and envelope.


We will have a birthday dinner for J next week.

Cicada lifecycle

Cicadas spend most of their life underground. It has been suggested that some of the large, common Australian species of cicada may live underground as nymphs for around 6-7 years. This would explain why adult cicadas are much more abundant during some seasons that others, with peaks occurring every few years. The periodical cicadas of North America spend 13 or 17 years underground.
In contrast to that of the nymph, the life of adult cicadas is very short, lasting only a few weeks. After mating, the adult female cicada lays its eggs. It does this by piercing plant stems with its ovipositor (egg-laying spike at the tip of the abdomen) and inserting the eggs into the slits it has made. The eggs hatch into small wingless cicadas which are known as nymphs. They fall to the ground and burrow below the surface. Here they live on the sap from plant roots for a period which may last several years. They shed their skin at intervals as they grow.
When the nymph reaches full size it digs its way to the surface with its front legs, which are specially adapted for digging. It generally surfaces about nightfall in late spring or early summer. The nymph then climbs on to a tree trunk or other object and sheds its skin for the last time. The fully-winged adult cicada which emerges leaves its old empty nymphal skin behind.
For enquiries relating to these insects in the Australian Museum collection please contact the Collection Manager
- See more at: http://australianmuseum.net.au/Cicadas-Superfamily-Cicadoidea/#sthash.aVp4xQkr.dpuf

Cicada lifecycle

Cicadas spend most of their life underground. It has been suggested that some of the large, common Australian species of cicada may live underground as nymphs for around 6-7 years. This would explain why adult cicadas are much more abundant during some seasons that others, with peaks occurring every few years. The periodical cicadas of North America spend 13 or 17 years underground.
In contrast to that of the nymph, the life of adult cicadas is very short, lasting only a few weeks. After mating, the adult female cicada lays its eggs. It does this by piercing plant stems with its ovipositor (egg-laying spike at the tip of the abdomen) and inserting the eggs into the slits it has made. The eggs hatch into small wingless cicadas which are known as nymphs. They fall to the ground and burrow below the surface. Here they live on the sap from plant roots for a period which may last several years. They shed their skin at intervals as they grow.
When the nymph reaches full size it digs its way to the surface with its front legs, which are specially adapted for digging. It generally surfaces about nightfall in late spring or early summer. The nymph then climbs on to a tree trunk or other object and sheds its skin for the last time. The fully-winged adult cicada which emerges leaves its old empty nymphal skin behind.
For enquiries relating to these insects in the Australian Museum collection please contact the Collection Manager
- See more at: http://australianmuseum.net.au/Cicadas-Superfamily-Cicadoidea/#sthash.aVp4xQkr.dpuf

 

Cicada lifecycle

Cicadas spend most of their life underground. It has been suggested that some of the large, common Australian species of cicada may live underground as nymphs for around 6-7 years. This would explain why adult cicadas are much more abundant during some seasons that others, with peaks occurring every few years. The periodical cicadas of North America spend 13 or 17 years underground.
In contrast to that of the nymph, the life of adult cicadas is very short, lasting only a few weeks. After mating, the adult female cicada lays its eggs. It does this by piercing plant stems with its ovipositor (egg-laying spike at the tip of the abdomen) and inserting the eggs into the slits it has made. The eggs hatch into small wingless cicadas which are known as nymphs. They fall to the ground and burrow below the surface. Here they live on the sap from plant roots for a period which may last several years. They shed their skin at intervals as they grow.
When the nymph reaches full size it digs its way to the surface with its front legs, which are specially adapted for digging. It generally surfaces about nightfall in late spring or early summer. The nymph then climbs on to a tree trunk or other object and sheds its skin for the last time. The fully-winged adult cicada which emerges leaves its old empty nymphal skin behind.
For enquiries relating to these insects in the Australian Museum collection please contact the Collection Manager
- See more at: http://australianmuseum.net.au/Cicadas-Superfamily-Cicadoidea/#sthash.aVp4xQkr.dpuf

 Best wishes for the New Year!!

I liked these words from Claire van Ryn at Faith Like A Mushroom.

So, hello 2014.  Your geography is unknown to me, yet I will not allow worry or fear a foothold.  Inexplicable peace is mine for knowing that God has already visited all of my tomorrows, preparing a path.
He goes before me.


Interesting sites 

1.

 The TentCot

Photo source

  This TentCot looks great. It is a mixture between a tent and a stretcher that can be turned into a lounge or chair. Click here to read more.

 

2.

Rare old photos 


Photo source

These rare old photos are really interesting and cover a range of topics. Click here to see them.

 

3.

Polished glass and rock

Photo source

 Tokyo-born artist Ramon Todo creates unusual sculptures by drawing upon basic, solid materials found in nature. To create each piece, he first locates stones and bricks discovered on personal walks through various landscapes. He then removes segments of the stone, and replaces them with layers of aesthetically beautiful, polished glass. Click here  to see more.

6 comments:

  1. Hi Lindy. I have never bothered to view the difference in the species Cicadas. I have actually only heard them naturally at very few times in my life due to my deafness. The cochlear picks it up and I must say, I really don't want to hear them - they are like a mini jack hammer going non-stop.They were still going last night at about 8pm. I have some greeting stamps you could have and some ink pads if you like as I want to destash anyway. Drop past one time again! (See I will even bribe you to have the pleasure of your company! LOL)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Michelle. I will catch up with you soon.

      Delete
  2. Thanks Lindy
    for the information on the Cicadas. I can't believe how big they are! I will show my family the pics. ps Happy belated Birthday J...xoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Doreen. A belated Happy New Year to you. xxx

      Delete
  3. I love the cicada wing pictures. We love it when the cicadas sing here. It's such a summer sound. I hope all is well and you had a wonderful holiday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lisa. I hope you enjoyed your holidays too. They are over far too soon. Best wishes to your family.

      Delete