Photo of the Week – July 20, 2012

I found this dog-day cicada on our driveway.  It was sitting still, but fluttered a little when I picked it up.  I put it in a ziplock bag so my kids could take a close look at it.  Then, since it seemed cooperative, I set up my homemade photo studio (the one inside my house, not my wheelbarrow) and took a few photos. 

Cicadas are fascinating creatures when seen up close. Can see you see all five eyes? There are two big compound eyes on the sides of the head, of course, but also three simple eyes arranged in a triangle near the center of its head (they resemble little red/orange beads).  Click on this photo for a much larger and sharper view.

The cicada sat completely still as I began photographing it, and even let me arrange its legs a little.  After a few minutes of photography, though, it started getting a little more lively.  Before I knew it, it was buzzing around my kitchen, and I was trying to chase it down and catch it in a small ziplock bag.  (Why are you laughing??) When I took it outside, it flew off, looking completely happy and healthy. 

I hope the cicada enjoyed its little trick.  I know my wife did…