2016: Return of the 17 Year Cicadas

The kids are learning about cicadas!
It's been AMAZING all of the facts we didn't know about these interesting loud bugs.

We are doing a unit study, so you'll be seeing more about cicadas,
but I wanted to share some photos I took this morning while we spent some time outside.

For 17 years, back when Bill Clinton was president, these nymphs have lived underground eating sap from tree roots.

When the ground temperature reaches exactly 64 degrees, the nymphs dig their way to the surface.
Next, they find a place to attach and prepare to shed their skin and molt into an adult cicada.

Isn't this amazing!?!
Right before our eyes we got to see the magic happen!

It took this cicada approximply 10 minutes to emmerge; once the body appears,
the process of extending their wings takes quite a while longer.

Notice how the wings extended and straightened out?
It's very improtant that the wing form/dry properly.
If not, they can't fly and will die an early death. 

Kensley spotted one on Rob's utility trailer; the crumpled up wings remind me of ears off of Star Wars.

This guy looked super creepy!

We watched this cicada molt perfectly; notice how flat and straight its wings are.

Unfortunately, this cicada wasn't so lucky.  With it's wings bent and twisted, its fate doesn't look well.

After a couple of hours, their bodies harder and turn black.

It's safe to say that The Winter Ranch is covered in emerging cicadas.

Typically cicadas have bright red eyes, but occasionally can be blue or brown.
Imagine my surpirse when we found this unique little brown-eyed thing!

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