Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Nature's Interlude

I know some of you may have noticed I haven't posted for a little while and haven't visited your blogs either.  Over spring break we had company.  I cringe at the number of unread blog posts I have in my Google reader.  I will get back to reading slowly but surely! 

 In the meanwhile I thought I would share some of the sounds of nature.  We are in the midst of the 13 year cicadas and their love songs.  The males sit in the tops of the trees and sing and sing and sing.   The singing lasts about 6 weeks.  Once the cicadas mate, the female lays her eggs in the leafy material nearby and both the male and the female die.  The eggs hatch, the larva drop to the ground, burrow into the soil, remerging 13 years later.  The larva feast on the tender foilage in the landscape.   click on the video and make sure your speakers are on.  The song lasts ALL DAY LONG.....it sounds like a spaceship is hovering just above the house.  This is my backyard ---

My friend Ann posted a similar video on Facebook.  It wasn't too loud here ---I thought there was a lot of fuss about very little.  A few days later the cicadas' song grew louder in my part of the community.  I worked outside on Sunday afternoon and the noise was incredible.  I thought the cicadas would be at night like the crickets and other creatures that we hear after dark.  Once the sun goes down, these red-eyed bugs are silent.  

this one is on my front porch....

Remember finding the exoskeletons as kids?  I sure do--- and I am finding them everywhere these days.

Think this spider may be taking this one somewhere else?

The birds have been pretty active lately.   I saw and photographed a couple new ones.  The first one I am pretty sure is a Summer Tanager---this isn't the best photo, but this guy was in the top of the tree and singing his heart out!

This next bird  I think is a Great Crested Flycatcher---Maybe he likes cicadas?

Will be around visiting all your blogs this evening --- 

©Copyright 2011 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.


  1. So cool! Very loud too. I like the spider shot with the shell.

  2. Janet,

    I could not run the video. The great Crested Flycatcher has an easy call and it always calls from the tops of the trees. Look it up, but you can remember this one easy enough.

  3. janet, my son and his friend we just talking about the 17 and 13 year cicadas yesterday. we have been finding the exoskeletons all over the place lately, too. interesting, unusual life cycle they have! great that you posted about them today.

  4. I've never lived in a place that had cicadas. Those skeletons are HUGE. How big must that bug be?

  5. Glad to see that you are back. Scarlet tanager is a name I can never remember on sighting one. Thanks.

  6. Those "buggers" can be loud. I remember hearing them when a kid in Tn. Thankfully we don't have them here or I don't recall them being here.

  7. God grief Janet, that is some racket! And yes, very reminiscent of a spaceship permanently trying to land on top of your house... Do you just get used to it? Take it easy on the blog catch-up, we all have breaks for one reason or another, and it can be exhausting trying to read everything.

    Your garden with the newly defined paths is looking lovely.

  8. The cicadas are something this year! We had the pleasure of their song while staying in Aix-en-Provence. In the evening, walking through the neighborhoods from the Cours Mirabeau to our rental cottage, the songs were continuous!

    cigale chanta (cicada sings)

  9. Janet, I am so not looking forward to their serenade this summer....We have this great screened porch! They are fascinating critters. This is an especially busy time of year~many (me) of us are WAY behind visiting. xogail

  10. Thanks for sharing that video, Janet. I remember there were some VERY loud Cicadas in Nebraska. I sort of miss them now. My daughter hates them because a neighbor threw one at her face when she was little.

  11. Are there fewer locusts in the 13 year cycle than in the 17 year one? We will have are 17 year locusts in five years and I always dreaded them. They are absolutely everywhere, in your hair and scaring little trees. I remember one time I had a silly dog that ate so many of the things it got deathly sick.
    They have those red eyes also. Great shots of them.

  12. They do make a racket that's for sure. I remember me and my brother finding these shells on everything in my grandma's garden. Welcome back! :)

  13. Cudweed is the host plant for American Painted Ladies. Watch for the butterflies.

  14. Funny how you miss things when they aren't around ~ like cicadas. I bet it will seem really quiet when they are gone again.
    Also, once again ~ more great bird sightings!

  15. Janet,
    Swa on NeilJean's comments you saw a caterpillar on cudweed, likely an American Lady butterfly.

  16. I posted on these buggars last week. They are something else this year. I have never heard them in this manner before. And yes, Just like a Space Ship from the movies! Am sure they are out taping them for a future Sci-Fi Flick! :-)

  17. They do sound like a space ship. So different from the ones I hear around here in mid-summer. How interesting. I hope all is well with you.

  18. So interesting - I don't think I've ever seen a cicada in person, though I've read about them soooo many times. I remember being extremely excited to see fireflies for the first time when we moved to Iowa. Around here we just get excited about the worms and ladybugs, and hope the thrips and earwigs stay out of sight.

  19. Hi Janet, I remember visiting a friend on Long Island NY and being amazed at the endless noise that the cicadas were making. It was so loud, it was deafening! We have them here, but in very small numbers. Sometimes you will hear the odd one in late summer. I have never seen on up close and was surprised by your pictures. Those red eyes are wild! I also had no idea that they lived so long. That is a rather long lifespan, as insects go isn't it?

  20. Tina, I was happy to see the spider too.

    Randy, Sorry you couldn't run the video. thanks for the bird info.

    Daricia, My husband and I have been having a discussion on when the cicada sheds its exoskeleton. Interesting creatures.

    Marguerite, check out the next posting -- I put a photo of the cicada with my fingers next to it.

    NellJean, thanks so much! Those Tanagers are such sweet singers.

    Lola, Yes, those buggers are loud. I am not sure of the range of these guys, will have to read more.

    Janet, it is a racket. You get used to it a bit while you are outside working...but each time you go in the house and then go back out it is really loud again. Glad you like the gardens with the new pathways.

    Cameron, they are indeed! I didn't realize they were in Europe as well.

    Gail, if you enjoy your screened porch after dark you won't have the singing. I am trying to stay caught up!

    Rosey, I can't say I would miss them ...but who knows. I can understand your daughter not liking them after having one in her face...ugh.

    Lona, I am not sure volumn between the 13 and the 17 year cycles. One news guy said one million bugs per acre....wow. My dog tries to eat them sometimes, but doesn't like the buzzing in his mouth.

    Racquel, they are louder in person than on the video! Thanks, glad to be back.

    NellJean, thanks....appreciate it.

    Kathleen, you know, it is quiet at night -- they don't sing at night. I am happy to see these birds.

    Randy, thanks!

    Skeeter, like minds eh? :-)

    Grace, All is well indeed! yes, these are different from the ones you hear in the later part of the summer.

    VW, they are weird bugs to be sure. We have lightening bugs here...they have been out since the end of March. Could do without the earwigs! ugh.

    Jennifer, there are 17 year cycle cicadas up north....wait til you see the picture in my next posting.


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