Cicada spotting! - The Dainty Squid

Cicada spotting!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Last week when I went out to take outfit pictures I made a quick stop at a tree that I had found lots of cicada exoskeletons attached to last year in hopes of finding more. There weren't very many, as it's still early in the season, but I did find something way more exciting than I could have hoped! Right as I got there one was beginning to emerge from it's exoskeleton. I'd never seen it happen in person. It was an amazing case of being in the right place at the right time.

In these photos you can see his head poking out. When I first spotted him his eyes were still very much inside the exoskeleton. I didn't realize this was going to progress so quickly until I saw him wiggle his little head out. It was incredible to see this little thing pulsing and squirming. 
He's got his wings out, but they're still folded in half. Doesn't he kind of look like some sort of dragon or weird frog type thing?
This part was by far the longest, he laid there with only his back end in his exoskeleton for what felt like forever (probably closer to fifteen minutes). Slowly each set of legs would wiggle their way out. It was at this point he really started to seem like a living thing since his legs were all moving.
He's out! So incredible to see the cicada beside it's exuviae, how did he even fit in there!?
His wings are starting to unwrinkle.
Finally, the wings are smooth! Aren't they beautiful!? I wish I could have gotten more photos of this guy in his adult form but he starting climbing after his wings were done.
All of this happened in around a half an hour. I just stood and stared the whole time, I was completely entranced. It was easily one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed with my own eyes. I can't even begin to understand how everyone isn't amazed by nature.

I'm mildly disappointed in my photos, they don't even being to do the event justice! I didn't have my macro filters on me so I couldn't get too close. Lesson learned - macro filters need to be with me at all time, no excuses. 
xoxo

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59 thoughts

  1. I think you would make an amazing professional nature photographer ♥

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  2. His wings are beautiful! I found a couple of exoskeletons a couple of weeks ago which kind of freak me out, but they are so beautiful! What a fantastic experience! :)

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  3. That is so cool! I can't believe you managed to get it all in photos, that's so lucky!

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  4. That's so cool that you were able to catch it all with your camera! I've only seen it a couple of times, and it's so neat watching their wings unfold! :)

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  5. you're lucky to witness this! I haven't even seen one of these in real life. thanks for the beautiful pics! <3

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  6. Thank you sooo much for posting this! You should seriously consider making a blog dedicated to your nature excursions. Nature is amazing! :)

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  7. Cool, nature is awesome. I think your photos are good, much better than anything I could have done.

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  8. Amazing photos! I didn't know we had those in Ohio. You post a lot of beach photos, do you live by a beach? Are those more prone to be near water?

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  9. This is so cool!! I have a ton of cicadas out at my house in the summer (it's one of my favorite sounds) and I see the actual cicadas quite a bit, but I've never seen them actually leave their exoskeleton. Unfortunately my dog sees cicadas as a worthy snack...they don't last too long around here. haha

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  10. Wow, seeing as how I am terrified of bugs I didn't think I would be able to read this post...but you made him look just beautiful! These are gorgeous photos capturing a slice of life. :] Congrats on the spotting!

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  11. Wow!! What an awesome experience! Those are one of the things you pretty much never get to see in person! And what beautiful wings he grew up to have!

    I almost never see cicadas around now-a-days, but whenever I do, they always remind me of my time in Japan. They were EVERYWHERE.

    -Elyse
    http://cuddlyasacactus.wordpress.com/

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  12. This is so amazing. Nature is nuts-- and I wouldn't worry about the photos, it's good that you had a camera at all!

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  13. That would be so neat to witness! We have a lot of cicadas near me in Palm Springs! I am going to to bring my camera next time I'm down there now! GREAT PICTURES!

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  14. This is probably the coolest thing ever!

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  15. Amazing. It's not often that we as humans get to witness something going on in nature that is so completely removed from our experience like that. This little lady/guy (not sure) CLIMBED OUT OF HIS OR HERSELF and resumed life totally transformed.

    And YOU were there to see it. So awesome.

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  16. you even manage to make THESE mnonsters look cute! how!? I actually don't think I've ever seen an actual live one and not just a shell!

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  17. We have a giant pine tree in our yard that always seems to be haven for cicadas. It's right next to my bedroom window, too, so all summer long I just hear that whining sound they make.

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  18. These are awesome. I don't think you should be disappointed because it was a total surprise and you still got some great pics! I probably wouldn't have even noticed this happening! I remember collecting their shells in an old ovaltine jar as a kid and bringing them for show and tell.

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  19. wow! you saw him and watched him come out? you're so lucky. how do you see details like this? do you always pay attention to small details or was it just luck? xD you photographed it very well too. absolutely adore the details.

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  20. A M A Z I N G !!!!!! I can't say how awesome this is!!!! You're so lucky!!!!!

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  21. This is so cool! What an amazing experience to witness!

    You were lucky to have your camera with you at the time

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  22. WOW. That is SO COOL. I'm sure you won't forget that experience for a long time! :)
    xx

    mysmallrayofsunshine.blogspot.com

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  23. That is awesome! We got the 17-year cicadas earlier this summer in New Jersey; then the annuals, and we're just now starting to hear the annuals in Philly. Seems as though we can't get away from the cicadas this year... I've never ever seen them breaking out of their exoskeletons though!

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  24. Wow, what a sight. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  25. This is incredible! How awesome that you capture this whole change, this is very cool to see:) thanks for sharing!

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  26. So cool! I would have done the exact same thing as you, watch in awe :) I love that there are still people out there who are amazed by nature. Today I photographed some hoverflies (with my IPod, so no memorable pics there :D). Hoverflies mimic wasps and bees and can be distinguished from the aforementioned because they only have one set of wings instead of two.

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  27. this kind of moment in your life you will never forget, you were at the right time in the right spot!! Nature is fascinating, simple and so beautiful. A sunset on the beach or watching animals in wild it feels like pure freedom.

    The pictures are very good!! :D

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  28. Wow, that's fascinating. Thank you so much for this photos!

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  29. thank you for sharing this! the kiddos and i always find the exoskeletons. we've been on cicada hunts, but have only found dead ones. they will be so excited to see these photos!

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  30. it's amazing to be passionate about such wondrous and beautiful things happening in nature (: your photos are kewl anyways ! xx cha

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  31. Wow! This is seriously gorgeous. You're so lucky to have witnessed this!

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  32. You are right, totally an amazing experience. Very lucky to have witnessed and thank you for sharing with us! I would have stared the whole time too haha!

    -Chrissy of Crashbeauty.com

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  33. This is incredible, and i think the photos are beautiful!

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  34. Am I the only one who thinks this little guy looks amazing? The picture of him beside his little exoskeleton my first reaction was 'AWEEE!'.

    His wings are so beautiful in the last picture.

    xx A

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  35. Oh, don't be disappointed, Miss. This is breathtakingly beautiful!

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  36. Wow, gorgeous photos (with or without macro!) Such an incredible thing to watch!

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  37. I love cicadas so very much! They're really in full mating swing right now in GA so the evenings are abuzz-literally and figuratively-with activity. I was able to film them creeping about but I've never caught one emerging before! Lucky duck!

    PS When I was a child I wore the exoskeletons on my shirts like brooches. To school and everything!

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  38. You pictures are truly beautiful.
    Thank you so much for sharing with us, I have never witnessed such an event and it just makes me want to take a walk in the forest.

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  39. Wow, that's amazing. I think the photos are great.

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  40. Ah, that's amazing! I would love to witness something like that!

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  41. My kids and I have watched that before. We love nature and can't wait for it to be cool enough for nature walks again. We love doing nature walks in October because we are on the Eastern migratory route to Mexico. Birds and butterflies galore, it's so awesome!

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  42. He reminds me so much of the pokemon Metapod. I'm probably a total nerd for stating that, but it's true!

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  43. This is amazing! You're so lucky to witness something like that, I once saw a duckling hatch which was beautiful but the speed that that little cicada came out was lovely :) Thank you for sharing them!

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  44. Amazing! I have seen these shells my whole life and never actually seen a bug. Too cool. Thank you for sharing.

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  45. Wow, that is totally amazing. Simply beautiful pictures!
    I've raised butterflies before, so I got to watch a monarch caterpillar shed it's skin and become a chrysalis, and I've also seen monarch butterflies dry out their brand new wings. There's nothing like seeing it in person. Magical.

    http://www.paperraindrops.blogspot.com/2012/08/monarch-butterfly.html

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  46. Wow! This is so amazing!
    It also reminded me of my childhood. I'd frequently go foraging for cicada shells with my Dad as a kid. It was so exciting for little me to climb a tree and see the empty shell still clinging to the tree.

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  47. Its amazing how you got such great photos. I love the colors so much,, its weird to see as people normally just ignore these insects.

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  48. Such a great capture! I remember finding this event happening on my back steps a few years back, but I feel like it took much longer for him to emerge. I was shocked by how bright green it was!
    Nature is unbelievable if you pay attention to it!

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  49. Oh my gosh those are awesome! Great pictures Kaylah!

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  50. How cool! Glad you got this experience :D and that you shared! I was just in Ohio a few weeks ago to visit family and I was hoping to hear so so many cicadas. Sadly, they weren't very active at his house :[

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  51. spying on bugs is the greatest! They are the strangest little creatures. Totally jelly of your experience.

    http://shaktidove.blogspot.com/

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  52. Nature amazes me! Love the photos!!

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  53. Nature is incredible! Great pictures
    -Lauren

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