Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cha, cha, cha, chia....


A Chia pet??? I hardly think so....
But we had "3" smart Wizards that figured out the mystery!!
You shall find out below....


Last week was a creepy one that is for sure. But my Wednesday Wizards put their pointy hats on and gave it some good thought! Lots of great answers! The images I had to use were re-sized to begin with so to just crop out a small piece to give you a hint, made some of the images a bit blurry, but you still made it through! You are getting smarter each week!

Here are just a few of the great and imaginative answers we had last Wednesday...
butterflies emerging from there chrysalis (this was very close), a moth, a fly or horse fly, a beetle (didn't give a name, so I am assuming a crawly type not the singing type, *snort*) bees, wasps (ugghh, my mortal enemies!) a caterpillar, blackberries ( I thought this one really showed imagination, as I could easily take a photo in a goofy manner and decide to post it) china berry and poke plant were a few others.

Our three Winning Wednesday Wizards are in no particular order :

and the ever present and knowledgeable
(and a very sweet lady )

So what did they guess??? 
See below if you dare!


 
Meet the 17 year cicada! 
I am sure many of you have heard them on a hot sultry day the loud buzz as if the electric wires were on fire from within. That is Mr. Cicada calling for a Mrs!
Instead of using throats and lungs to sing, these insects make sounds using other specialized parts on the skeleton on the outside of the body.
Because they are cold blooded, insects need hot days to warm up their instruments. You won't hear them on a cool morning. But if you listen, you will notice them around midday. By late afternoon or early evening, more insects will have joined the chorus. A cicada is 1 to 2 inches long, with a blunt head and clear wings. Similar to true bugs, it has a mouth-part for sucking. Like a drinking straw with a sharp end, the cicada's mouth-part can pierce a woody plant and suck up sap.

 


  colorful cicadas on a variegated barberry bush
click for a larger view,

please ask if you would like a copy to share


The female cicada has an ovipositor folded under her abdomen. She uses it to slice into the tip of a branch and deposit eggs inside.
After the eggs hatch, the young cicadas (called nymphs) drop to the ground and use special front legs to tunnel into the soil. Underground, they feed on root sap and grow in dark burrows for many years (on average of 13 to 17, ours belong to the periodical cicadas if the genus Magicicada 17 year Brood XIII). They are not locust but Orthoptera.
Each cicada crawls out of the ground and up onto a tree or other woody plant. Then the cicada nymph inflates itself with air, moisture, and blood, splitting open its exoskeleton. They leave a pretty good size hole behind too. Eventually, the grown-up cicada emerges and leaves its exoskeleton on the bark or leaf or where ever it happens to crawl out! It then has to rest and dry out, much as a butterfly. They do not seem afraid , we have touched them and picked them up and put them down somewhere else, and they do not seem to care. The exoskeleton is crunchy after it dries too.
Males begin to call for a mate, and females listen for their courting call. After mating and laying eggs and living the good life for about 2 weeks the adults die. Sounds like a real romantic life doesn't it....


 If you look closely in this photo you can see both the exoskeleton and many drying and lively meeting pairs of cicadas. This growing echinacea (purple cone flower) is one hopping dating joint! You can click on the photos for larger view.


Talk about showoffs and loud mouths, males cicadas are one of the loudest insects around! An African cicada was recorded at 106.7 decibels (as loud as a chain saw) at 1 meter.
Their noisy love song starts in stiff but flexible ribs found in parts called timbals. Only males have a pair of timbals: one on each side, under our wings.
When they want to attract a female, they lower their abdomen and puff it out. Then use the timbal muscles to pull in the timbals. The timbals buckle like a squeezed pop can. One at a time, each little rib on the timbal makes a quick sound. When these muscles relax, the timbals pop back out. Timbals pop out and in many times very fast. So that is where that loud electric buzzing sound is coming from.
Scientists 'think' cicadas can change the amount of air in the expanded abdomen and it changes the pitch and makes the sound louder, but it is still a secret yet.
On the underside, males have two tympana. They use them like amplifiers to make the sound go far. To do this, they have to open up opercula, flaps that cover and protect their tympana. (sounds like a regular rhythm section!)
Females don't have timbals, but they do have tympana. They use them to hear the mating calls. So these guys may be small, but they have a really cool way to make awesome, loud sounds, and I think they are quite vivid looking too!
Hello there. Are you to be my sweetheart?

Did you find my creepy bug story interesting? I have experienced the 17 year cicadas twice since we lived here, and I still find them fascinating. Plus the fact that they are one insect that does not care to eat me for lunch helps a lot!
I did a post on the 24th about the nasty weather that blew through here. I am aware that lots of other areas as well have been dealing with floods and other of Mother Natures temper tantrums (my thoughts are with you)... I posted a few photos from my yard and what Mother Nature decided to prune and clear out.  (I left that a clickable link in case you want easy access to go back and read it) If you would like me to post part two of the story next week along with regular Wednesday post, please leave a comment along with your guess for this weeks clue. Mr. Linky is also below for those that play along. You can also visit our wonderful Wizards and see what goodies they have to offer this week as well.

Now for this weeks clues...

and lastly

 


Enjoy your week everyone. I hope to 'see' you during of course, and if you leave a comment I will be sure to leave a nice one on yours as well. If you would like to use any of my photos, please do not take without asking, I am happy to share with a link back and proper credit in kind. I'm looking forward to some good answers and don't forget to also reply if you would like to hear about part two of what happened here in my wild cheesy acre.


 Until next time...








34 comments:

  1. So, do they only come every 17 years? Little Man caught a couple last week. And holy crap that is a lot of cicadas in that photo. Um, I have no idea, but I'm pretty sure your photo is of something furry- a dog? Thanks for linkin up for WW!

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  2. I think this week is a picture of your kitty cat! I do like these guessing games - even if I'm often wrong.

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  3. I can't see the first couple of photos and my computer is only showing me half of the others so weird

    dang it. I'll try to come back later to see if its different

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  4. We used to have a whole yard full of those things... the humming was so soothing!

    You have a pretty white kitty cat! Some close ups of the ear and one sideways. Cute.

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  5. wow, I have not seen cicadas in like forever!! The last time remember seeing them was when I was in high school...like 20 years ago!

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  6. My first thought was cat too, definitely looks like cat ears...

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  7. I think I won last week :) So so cool Faythe. But I definitely did not get that bug right. I can't even remember the name of it and I just read it 3 seconds ago.
    As for your mystery this week, at first I thought it was a hairy bone? lol, I know I'm weird. But now I think it is an animal of some sort. Cat? Rat?

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  8. nice shots of cicadas.

    I'm not really sure what it is but is it a rabbit?

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  9. Hi! First time visitor! Happy WW! I think your photos are of a kitty. Which is funny, because that's what my photo is too! You can reach me at unusualarts{at}gmail{dot}com.

    Shannon
    http://wvclaylady.com/2010/07/28/wordless-wednesday-the-lion-sleeps-tonight/

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  10. Wow - Really interesting - thanks for sharing!

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  11. Cicadas give me the creeps!! This week's must be your kitty! A kitty tail, kitty nose, kitty ear and soft cuddly kitty belly!! lol

    So sorry to hear of your bad weather :(

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  12. I was thinking cat too, but I'm not sure the fur is real. I'm going to say cat toy.

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  13. The one picture looks like a cat ear so i'm going with cat :)

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  14. Those bugs really do creep me out!!

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  15. That has to be your kitty!

    I really don't like cicadas at all.

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  16. Who knew creepy crawlers could look so interesting up close.

    I wanna say it's a cotton ball?

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  17. The first 2 pictures look much like a white with orange kitty, but that last shot makes me wonder.
    if it wasn't for the orange I would guess a stuffed monkey toy, maybe a rabbit toy, but this is another think on it post.

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  18. I think it's a bunny rabbit.

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  19. Great cicada pictures! Ours aren't so colorful. I never knew why their sounds grow so much louder as the day heats up.

    For this week, I'm guessing that you are staying with your botanical theme, and the pictures are something like a pussy willow.

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  20. Looks like that last picture is the belly of a kitty cat, all ready for a rub :)

    Hope you can stop in for a visit, I'm doing Blogtrotting today!

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  21. That looks like some kitteh cleavage!

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  22. I think cicadas are very interesting. And I love their sound.

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  23. This is a tough one I thought perhaps catkins but there seem to be too many contours so I'm going with baby bunny or other furry critter.

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  24. Interesting post. I see kitty fluff at the end, right? thanks for visiting!

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  25. It looks like a little plump kitty to me! Happy WW!

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  26. There is definitely white fur in the picture. The last picture is of an animal standing, but needs to be rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise.

    I think it is a wolf-dog. The second pic, if I stare at it I can see its face.

    The first pic is the tail. Third pic is a profile of its head.

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  27. Oh yes, when I said standing in the last picture.. I meant a pic of the animal's upper legs, chest, and neck if you were facing the animal.

    The second pic, with the face - took a long time to get, but looking inside the dark shadow I can see the wolf's head and face right away now. Ears, snout, nose, and gleaming eyes.

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  28. Assuming these pictures are "G" rated, and I don't think it is a furry white turkey... this is a tough one Faythe.
    Thre are no cotton fields that I'm aware of even in Southern Wisconsin, but plenty of cottony fluff blows off trees.
    You'd laugh if you saw me turning my head this way and then that to figure out which way is up.
    It is that second picture that is stumping me, what in the world???
    I am going to guess a Winter Hat!

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  29. I had to pop in... I am having so much fun reading the comments this week. I forgot to moderate them, but no matter, I hope it is entertaining for everyone!
    Some of my regular readers are making me laugh! yes, the photos are "G" rated, LOL! and unaltered as always except for size, and maybe a rotation...
    As far as the 17 year cicadas the ones in my area, I know are this color, I do not know for sure in other areas.. the more common annual genus can be very plain looking, but also be loud in the dog days of summer heat and looking for love!
    Keep on having fun guessing & linking up (if you haven't)
    Faythe @GMT

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  30. looks like a bunny to me!

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  31. Look at you and your wealth of info! I havent SEEN a cicada in a LONG time!

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  32. I'm guessing that it's a white cat with a bit of orange on him/her. That last photo has me absolutely stumped though. I'm thinking it's 'full frontal' but the image is sideways? I'm sure my kids were looking at me strangely as I was sitting here tilting my head this way and that. :)

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  33. I'm definitely not a bug person but that was still some pretty interesting info!

    No idea what the next one is. Thanks for stopping, sorry i'm a little late saying it.

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  34. Hi I am your newest follower. I just love your blog! Thanks for sharing!! www.colieskitchen.com

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