Monday, July 31, 2006


I was in the park, crouching down next to a park bench to photograph a flower, when I heard a voice behind me:

"Look! Look!"

I turned around.

"WHOAH!" I said, and reared back.

"It's a cicada!" said a very small boy. "I have more! Look!"

He showed me.

"Take a picture!" he ordered.

I took a picture.

"And see this?" he said turning one over. "They're different colours underneath! Take another picture!"

The cicadas waved their legs feebly.

I took another picture.

"And they're black on top," he said, putting the cicadas on the ground.

"Amazing," I said.

I don't know why the cicadas didn't fly away when he put them down. It's possible they were feeling a little overwhelmed.

I know I was.


Wiccachicky said...

Holy crap this post scared me!! When the picture loaded I literally jumped out of my chair. Bugs. *shivers*

jau said...

Same reaction. Good thing the blues and golds showed or you'd be responsible for a dead blog reader!

What camera do you use? It's awesome resolution.

kenju said...

That little boy was precious looking. I am surprised he was not afraid of the cicadas and could pick them up so freely. What good photos!

The Editter said...

I work hard at nonchalence around bugs - I don't want George junior to think he can scare me that way.

Fuzzball said...

What's the deal with capturing cicadas? We've got tons of them down here in Houston, but I've never seen kids trying to catch them...

On a related note, I love the sound of cicadas in the late afternoon. Brings back memories of being a little kid up in a magnolia tree during the summer. :)

Cheryl said...

Shudder - those are big beetles. Big beetles with wings. Right.

Badaunt said...

Wiccachicky: They don't bite! They're just cicadas!

Aup: The camera is an Olympus Ultra Zoom. It's a WONDERFUL camera. Not expensive, either.

Kenju: Keeping bugs as pets is an old tradition in Japan. When I first came here I learned this the hard way. I was teaching a small group of children, and suddenly a huge bug crawled out of the sleeve of the cute little dimpled 5-year-old. Naturally I screamed and pointed (I thought it was a cockroach) and she thought it was the funniest thing ever. It was a very large beetle, and her pet.

Editter: Japan is a good place to practice nonchalance around bugs. You get lots of opportunites!

Fuzzball: It's a tradition here, and you can even get insect cages. I have one - a beautiful little bamboo cage, like a birdcage only smaller. You can buy various kinds of beetles in pet stores.

Cheryl: It's NOT a beetle. It's a CICADA! It SINGS to you.

My friend told me that the other day she got a newly emerged cicada to climb up her body. She told me they come out of the ground and then climb and climb and climb and climb, shedding one skin as they go. She managed to get herself elected as 'tree' for the new cicada, and enjoyed watching it change colour. (And she isn't even Japanese.)

Fuzzball said...

Well that is just KEEN. I'll have to go foraging for a cicada of my own. I'll keep you updated ;)