“And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds; the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so.” Genesis 1:24
My blog this week is going to be a bit different, because something unique and different is going on right now in Virginia, North Carolina, and West Virginia. If you like bugs, you will love this creation. If you don’t, it is still super interesting. The insect above is a cicada. It only becomes an adult after 17 years underground as a nymph. That’s almost as long as it takes a human baby to become an adult! Different species of cicada have different lifespans, but the ones we have right now have a 17-year lifespan.
I really didn’t know a lot about cicadas until this year. I did not grow up in this area. I was born in Indiana and went to school in Pennsylvania. We always had crickets in the summer that “sang” at night, but I don’t remember anything like these cicadas. They are loud! They are loudest in the hottest part of the day. It is like a buzzing, humming sound. I’m going to call it “thrumming” because it almost has a beat or rhythm to it.
The female lays the eggs on tree branches. The egg will hatch into a nymph (kind of like an insect child). The nymph drops from the branch and burrows underground to feed on the sap or liquid from tree roots for the next 17 years. God created them with instincts (a fixed pattern of behavior in animals that they are born with) to know just the right time to burrow out of the ground to the surface. All over the forest floor you will find these small holes in the ground all about the same size, the nymphs are out and ready to become adults!
The nymph doesn’t have wings, it has lived underground all this time. But it climbs; a tree, a post, a mountain laurel, or anything to get up off the ground. Once there, the adult cicada begins to emerge. The back of the nymph’s exoskeleton (hard shell on the outside) splits and the adult cicada slowly works its way out. The head first with it red eyes and then the body with its long wings. The new adult has to stay on the tree or branch until its wings puff up with liquid and its body hardens (new exoskeleton). Then it buzzes away! Only the males make the sound, they are calling to find a female.
The adults only live and “thrum” for 5 to 6 weeks. After the eggs are laid for the next generation of cicadas, they will die. But those freshly laid eggs will hatch into nymphs who will eat and grow, and know just the right time to break out of the ground and fill our trees with thrumming.
God, our amazing Creator, not only created us, but all the creatures on this wonderful earth! The cicada is an amazing creature. What other creatures are amazing to you? A whale, a cheetah, an elephant, an eagle?
This week draw a picture of some of God’s most amazing creatures. Go online if you can or to the library and read about your favorite creations. Share it with your parents and find out their favorites. I’ll bet one of their favorite creations, is you!
Blessings as you discover God’s amazing creatures and creations!