The Dainty Squid
animals and nature

17-year cicadas - Brood V

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Pssst. If you're not a fan of bugs, you might want to skip this one. I'd rather you scrolled on by than left a comment saying how "gross" this is! ;)

cicada, ohio, brood v, 2016, 17 year

You guys know I like cicadas, right? I have a giant one tattooed on my leg! This obsession started a few years ago when I found a bunch of them in the quiet little cemetery where I often took outfit photos. Look at this lil baby Kaylah! I was / am just enthralled by what neat critters they are.

It's actually been a few years since I spotted any despite always keeping my eyes peeled. So when the news that the 17-year cicadas would be emerging this year I was stoked! All the news stations around here are covering it, which piqued my interest even more. Of course, there was the chance that the new stations were doing what they do best, exaggerating stories to make them more appealing, but after a little bit of research I figured I better get my butt out there to look or else I'd have to wait another seventeen years for this grand event to happen again!

I wasn't quite sure where to look but randomly happened to check the Cleveland Metroparks website. They had a whole page on cicadas and just my luck, they were hosting a few cicada walks where you could go, meet up with a group, and look for them together. That's not really my style but they did list the locations of where they'd be meeting so I figured that was probably the best place to start looking, right?

I drove to a park a half hour away, and huffed and puffed my way around the trail. I found nothing. Hot, sweaty, and annoyed, I called my mom - "Have you seen any cicadas yet?!" I figured since they live in a heavily wooded area my parents would have spotted some if they were out but there were none there yet either.

I hopped back in my car and decided since I was already out and about I'd see if there were any garden centers near by. Google told me my local favorite garden center chain had a location about ten minutes away so I started to head that direction. On my way there I happened upon a cemetery. It looked sufficiently old and I thought if I couldn't shoot what I came out to shoot I could at least take some photos of a new cemetery. I pulled in and immediately noticed something on the tree. I let out a victorious "hell yeah!", threw my car in park, grabbed my camera bag, and darted over to the tree. Cicadas everywhere. The tree was covered. They were on headstones. You could barely walk without stepping on them.

white cicada, cicada, ohio, brood v, 2016, 17 year

It's so incredible to me that these little guys hang out underground for 17 years then when the conditions are right (ground temperatures have reached 64 degrees Fahrenheit) they emerge to molt. Nature is too cool!

Something you may notice from these photos is that a lot of the cicadas had shriveled up wings. If they aren't able hang downward after emerging they won't form properly. There are a couple photos in this post, third from top, and second from bottom, that show how the wings are crinkled when they first emerge. This can also be caused by cicadas trampling each other. You can see in the photo above there one decided that directly on top of another was a good place to molt. It seemed like the majority of the adults who had finished drying after molting and stuck around had damaged wings. Judging by the number of abandoned exoskeletons laying around quite a few had already left the immediate area and presumably had fully formed wings.

 cicada, ohio, brood v, 2016, 17 year
cicada, ohio, brood v, 2016, 17 year
17-year cicada nymph

Super awesome, right?! I'm really stoked about my photos but a little disappointed I didn't think to take a couple shots that show the just how many there were. I mainly shot individuals as opposed to the whole scene. Hopefully this won't be the last big group of them I see this year though. I'm planning out going out to look for them in a few other areas where and I've got my fingers crossed!

If you're interested in reading more about these guys, Cicada Mania is a great resource! There is a ton of information. If you're curious when the periodical cicadas will be emerging in your area, this site has an easy to read chart.

Weird fact : I've only found cicadas in cemeteries. I've literally never seen a single outside of a cemetery. I tried to research this and see if I could find any information on why this might be but I came up empty handed. Is it the kind of tree which happens to be popular in cemeteries? Softer ground? They're actually performing witchcraft underground for seventeen years?! I have no idea but it's pretty interesting.


read more books

Monday, May 30, 2016

I love the city I live in. I'm pretty sure I've made that abundantly clear by now. Sometimes I just want to shout it from the rooftops though. Maybe it's not so much the city itself but what it represents to me. Don't get me wrong, Cleveland is awesome. We're definitely a lot more cool than anyone gives us credit for. But a lot of the things I really enjoy are simply because they're so different than what my life used to be like.

Before living here I was in my early twenties, in a long term relationship where I was unhappy, thinking "well, this is my life. This is what it's going to be like. Too late to do anything about it, I'm already so invested." It's not that anything was critically wrong but I certainly wasn't fulfilled. There wasn't any excitement or adventure. Then it was like one day I woke up and realized "Woaaah, nooooo! Girl, you gotta do you!" ...Except it wasn't a huge dramatic realization at all. It happened slowly over a long period of time but as soon as those whispers in my mind got louder they were impossible to ignore. Something had to happen.

If you've been reading The Dainty Squid for a while now you'd probably agree that things started to change when I got my license at the ripe old age of twenty-three. It opened my eyes that there was a lot more out there in the world than the life I had built in Geneva. I wanted - no, HAD - to see more, do more, be more! Things changed pretty rapidly after that.

On the way home from purchasing my first car back in 2013,  I spotted an abandoned building off the highway. On the side of the building it read "READ MORE BOOKS". I lost it! It was the coolest graffiti I had ever seen (There is zero graffiti where I come from, okay?) I couldn't imagine who would paint that? Why? Or even how they got up there! It blew my little country girl mind. I just loved it so much. I wanted so badly to pull over and photograph that building but couldn't imagine getting off the freeway to try and find this building. And getting out of the car near it? No waaaay.

I met Jeff a mere month after moving up here and not long at all after that he took me inside that building not knowing just how special that was to me. Since that first time, I've been in just about every inch of that building. I've watched the sunset from the roof, and I've even been up the water tower.

Three years after seeing that building for the very first time from the side of the highway, I live within walking distance. Up until early last week I actually had never considered juuust how close I was to it. I wanted to take a photo of it with a new camera and figured I'd just walk. I planned for it taking a lot longer but in less than ten minutes Klaus and I there. Being there, in front of this building, with my puppy dog, my camera and not a care in the world got me feeling some sort of way and I just had to type it all out.

I drive by this building on the way home from the grocery store, and it's visible when I get to the end of my street. I see it nearly every single day. I just can't believe it's my turf now. This world that was previously unimaginable to me is mine for the taking. It's so silly for this building to mean so much to me but it's really cool to see things come full circle like that.

Life is really rad, and honestly, it is NEVER too late to start again. Being happy is worth so much more than anything. Also, you should probably go ahead and read more books! ;)

This building is actually in the process of being renovated. It'll soon, well maybe not "soon", be a school. It's awesome to hear that it won't be demolished and so fitting that a building with the words "read more books" will be a place kids will do just that!

friday favorites

Friday Favorites #366

Friday, May 27, 2016

I can't tell you how much I love this sweatshirt with it's nearly hidden skeleton print! I've always really liked clothes with skeleton prints, except they're usually so obnoxious I only feel comfortable wearing them in October. I feel like I could totally get away with wearing this all the time!!
 (via: Modcloth)
Urban Outfitters always seems to have the cutest bath mats. This kitty is no exception.
A solar system for your office!
Loving these shark tooth rings!
(via: luxdivine)
 (via: Modcloth)
 (via: camelotia)
Anyone out there have experience buying succulent cuttings online? I'm so tempted but a little bit nervous about them surviving the journey. Corona Succulents seems reputable and it looks like they have a huge variety of things you could get! (Plus pretty photos!) I'm looking to really expand my collection this year.
Who wouldn't love to see this friendly little note as you walk out your door everyday?
 (via: Modcloth)
 Isn't this star covered throw blanket so pretty? I love throw blankets. I'm one of those people that even in the summer enjoys having a blanket on, just because it's cozy.
(via: SewnNatural)
Do I even have to explain why I like this dress?
 (via: Modcloth)

Link love...
▴ A candle that smells like baking bread? Ohhh yessss!
Cactus shirt!
▴ A pillow covered in plants? Yep, this would be perfect in my apartment!
▴ These ice cream trinket dishes are sooo very cute. Beautiful product photography too!
▴ The perfect summer dress is easy to style, sleeveless, and probably has a cute cut-out somewhere. Yeah, just like this one!

Happy Friday!!

Ps. For more fun finds check out my Everyday Favorites

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Everyday favorites

click here to see more of my everyday favorites.