Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cousin To The Butterfly

       To acknowledge National Moth Week - July 21-27, I have decided to try my hand at writing a Haiku and to show some photos of moths I have taken throughout the years.

Moths fly to a glow
For an ambiance of joy.
They alight to rest.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cute Camouflaged Katydid providing a little of the Tropics to the South

     There are around 6,400 species of this insect. 

I caught this particular one moving from one leaf to another. He seems to camouflage very well in this picture. I guess if I were a bird flying overhead, I wouldn't really be able to distinguish him from the leaf. Katydids eat primarily leaves, flowers, bark and seeds, but many of the species do feed on other insects, snails, lizards and small snakes.
They rub their wings together to make the familiar katy-did sound.

There are only around 255 species found in North America. The majority live in the tropical regions of the world!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Silly Songbird

      I was listening to some music by a band that I really liked while sitting outside on the screened-in deck. A little songbird showed up and stayed for awhile. Most birds won't sit that long or even come that close in the first place. After the song was over, I was still looking at her, and she suddenly did something unexpected. There was a wind chime located directly below her and she fluttered down to it and kicked the chimes with her little feet, like she knew exactly what she was doing. Maybe she did. Maybe she had done it before. She went over onto another part of the deck and snatched up a moth, and then she must have decided she didn't like it because I saw it fall from her beak. Lastly, she flew onto the limb of a nearby tree. I have learned that there's a chance songbirds not only like to sing songs, they like to listen to them too. I have also learned that a certain little songbird has learned how a wind chime works.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Throughout the World - Known for their Songs

     Some people might say that they are known for their disturbing sounds. I have gotten used to their songs and they really don't bother me at all. Cicadas are commonplace during the summer months, especially in the country. They remind me of camping, which I like.
     As usual I was outside searching for an animal, any animal. I saw a cicada hanging on the side of some wooden steps and noticed it was covered with dirt. I usually just see the shells with no dirt so I figured this one had just come out of the ground.

     I remember hearing on the news that the people of the east coast of the United States were awaiting the arrival of a lot of them. I guess the news was trying to warn the people to be ready for the noise. I, along with others in the south, are so used to the sound that it wouldn't be that big of news here. I suddenly notice another cicada located on a step right below this one. It had another animal beside it which was green. I didn't know what it was. I thought it looked somewhat like a praying mantis.
     I went inside to do my research and discovered the green animal was actually the cicada emerging from its shell. I read that this cicada was in its final stage of its life cycle. Cicadas live underground anywhere from four years to seventeen years. I had never seen one coming out of its shell. I had seen other cicadas that were brown sitting on trees. There are over 2,500 species and they appear in brown, black or green.                     
    I was pretty excited in finding an animal I had never seen before because they are often heard and rarely seen. While googling about this particular animal, came across a similar photo taken by in the Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia. It is so amazing to know that from across the world the same animal can appear.
     The cicada is waiting for its beautiful and translucent wings to dry and harden before coming unattached to its shell. I am so glad I didn't disturb this process. The cicada spends the majority of its life waiting on this moment. After spending up to 17 years in the ground, it will only live a short 5 weeks of its adulthood.
      Only the males do the singing. Each species looks different from one another and have their own songs. There are three distinctive songs. One sounds like the word - "pharaoh," one like a sizzling skillet, and one like a rotary lawn mower.                                           

The different species sing at different times of day; one favors the early part of the day, another prefers midday and the third takes the later afternoon shift. Cicadas are not locusts, so it is not the end of the world when they emerge. The two insects come from different orders in the scientific classification system. Locusts are the only ones mentioned in the book of Revelation in the bible. They aren't poisonous, they don't bite, and largely keep to the trees. They won't hurt or attack you because they don't move around that much. In China, male cicadas are kept in cages in peoples homes so that the homeowner can enjoy their songs.
The cicada is an ancient symbol representing resurrection, immortality, and spiritual realization. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Surprising Connections

Do you believe in them? What I'm talking about are those surprisingly uncanny occurrences between two people. You just know they were God sent. I smile every time I have one. The other day one happened and I wanted to share it with you because it is nature related. I had taken a photo and decided that I wasn't going to do anything with it. I loaded it up on my computer with the rest of my photos for the day and was planning to forget about it. I must have thought the little plant on the stump was interesting, otherwise I wouldn't have taken a photo of it. A few days later, a dear ole friend shared a drawing on facebook and I happened to see it. I couldn't believe my eyes. I immediately contacted her. I believe God sends us connections for different reasons: one might be to reconnect with an ole friend or to remind us that he is with us or just to show us that we are loved. I love connections.
I love God.

From the Facebook Page: Star Gazing