Changes: Climbing out into a new life.

This week’s photo challenge asks for a photo depicting change. It’ll be no surprise to you that I’ve pulled out yet another photo of nature, taken by my husband: a cicada emerging from its exoskeleton in our garden last June.

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Cicadas in this region spend two years underground as nymphs. They dig an escape tunnel of over 30 cm to the surface, like light-hungry prisoners armed with hope and teaspoons. How do they know which way is up? When they finally pop out and discard all the unnecessary packaging, the poor things have just two to three weeks to live (if they don’t get eaten first).

This little guy popped his head out of a hole in front of PF, who spent the entire afternoon observing him as he shed his exoskeleton. (The cicada, not PF. Obviously.) Then his wings dried and unfolded little by little. We left him to get on with his short existence…. but does life feel as long for a cicada as it does for us?

To reassure any of you who found Mr Cicada a tad on the ugly side, here is a pic after a few hours of wing unrolling and drying, and a picture of what he would have finally looked like: a fully fledged miniature army helicopter.

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24 thoughts on “Changes: Climbing out into a new life.

  1. gosh MM, I didn’t know whether to LIKE this post or not… this picture appeared on my reader and… I thought… who the hell posted this photo… then I scrolled down and it was you! maybe it’s because it is enlarged and SO BIG!! yaiks! looks pretty ugly!… sorry…I know it’s what nature intended and all that, but they could have made the little thing a bit more pretty, like a butterfly?

  2. I was trying to work out which was the exoskeleton and which was the beastie! d’oh…

    I’d be surprised if anything could emerge from my garden as the earth bakes rock solid. They’d need a pneumatic drill to get through!

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