Alien creatures in the dog-days of summer
My morning routine right now is to make tea and then check on all the caterpillars in the nursery enclosures. So, there I am on the deck, looking at two cats who've assumed the "J" position overnight in preparation for transforming into chrysalids. Very zen, very peaceful.
Then I happen to notice what I think is a dead cicada laying on it's back near the wall of the house, on the deck. Poor thing, I think. So, I reach out to take it by the wing and put it in the garden ...when it starts buzzing at me. YIKES! Girlish scream and quick step back. And then sense prevails and I run into the house and grab the D750 w/macro lens. On my way across the deck, I grab a small bamboo garden stake. Gently coaxing the cidada onto it...holding bamboo with one hand and camera with the other. Click, click, click. And then --- BUZZ --- he's off.
These giant insects (at least as big as my entire thumb) are harmless, to both humans and flora. They don't eat as adults, instead focusing on reproduction. Their larvae will live underground until next summer, when they emerge just in time for the hot "dog days of summer". I almost never get an opportunity to photograph them because they are quite skittish - and with good reason as they are a favored meal for birds, raccoons, wasps, and other creatures who favor a crunchy snack.
Anyway, I quite like this image, which is a stack of two photos in order to get a little better focus. Taken from a distance of less than 12 inches, minor crop, some tweaks in LR. If you want to see a side view on this creature, click HERE - he's really quite beautiful with far more colors than I'd have thought.
Dinner with our neighbors from across the Lane tonight which will be fun. Hubs is over at the Man-cave working on the race car today. I am pottering around the garden. Also waiting for six monarchs to emerge today. One female will go for a fellow blipperwho lost her mum and if I have a second female, she'll go for a friend's mum. The others will be released for the victims of Hurricane Florence and Typhoon Mangkhut, may they all rest in peace. Still close to 30 yet to be released, so if you want to honor someone you miss, just let me know.
Have a zen weekend.