We've had a heatwave for the past 9 days. It has been unbearably warm and humid and I have done very little in the way of physical activity because of the monumental effort required. This is the worst I've felt from the heat since diagnosis, spending a lot of time flaked out on the bed with the fan on me. Most evenings find me outside enjoying the relatively cool evenings. My neighbour, Kim, and I do a little tour around the outside of the building before calling it a night, looking for bugs. Well, I look, Kim accompanies me and calls me crazy.
Last night I found a big beetle like bug on the wall behind the building:
I ran inside to get a container to put it in and then took it inside for closer examination. It offered no resistance and very little movement. I also noticed it didn't appear to have wings.
Under the microscope, this creature took on a terrifying appearance. The claws on its front legs were enough to make me jump back. And then it moved. Or something on its back moved and I realized it was molting and shedding its outer covering.
Was this animal simply shedding a layer or was it actually in the process of becoming an adult? It took about half an hour for this little thing to come out:
While it was pulling and squirming out of its shell I was googling like mad to find out what it was. The little bit of green that emerged clinched it for me. Wings! It's a cicada!
What a transformation I was privy to. I let it go outside once its wings were pumped up, leaving it on a bush in the back. It was there this morning when I checked, but gone by this afternoon. The ferocious looking claws are for digging its way through the dirt where it spends the majority of its life. As adults, they are the noisy insects you hear on the hottest summer days, sounding like buzzing overhead power lines.
I had never seen a cicada youngster before so it was all very exciting. I felt like handing out cigars last night...