Friday, May 25, 2007

The Cicadas are Here!

There was a time in my life that I was terrified of bugs. I particularly had a thing for earwigs. Actually, I still have a thing for earwigs. I don’t care that they don’t pinch or crawl in your ears; they’re gross, they come out of nowhere, and they need to DIE. I do not, however, feel that way about the cicadas. We in Northern Illinois have the good fortune of welcoming the seventeen-year cicadas every, well, seventeen years. I work in a town with many, many old trees, which is where the cicadas are at their best. For only a short amount of time (about a month), the cicadas come out of the ground, crawl up a tree, lose their little bodies, grow red eyes and wings, mate, then die! I don’t know if I got that in exactly the right order, but it doesn’t matter (to me. I’m sure some people care. Like cicada scientists). Not that I want to roll around in a pile of them, but I’m not really all that afraid of the cicadas. It’s quite magical that they are here. I love to go outside at lunch and see the cicada shells everywhere. It’s so cool how some shells, although empty, stick to the trees. I took a bunch of pictures to share. While I was taking the pictures, an eighth grade boy who was outside yelled, “Ms. Halpern! What are you doing?” And I said, “Taking pictures of the cicadas!” And then another boy said, while coughing, “Loser.” Awww. Then he said he was kidding. So the two boys came over, and boy number one threw a cicada at the second, loser-calling boy and he screamed like a little girl. Justice.

These are all of the cicada shells on the ground.
These are the empty shells stuck to the tree.
A happy, living cicada!

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