Friday, July 8, 2011

Nature Study - The Cicada

My kids are fascinated with cicadas ... me not so much but, I am always up for a Charlotte Mason style nature study.

Pictured above is a cicada we found yesterday on our front door step. It had just emerged from its shell and the kids were ecstatic {they are accustomed to only finding the shells of these creatures}. It appeared to have an injured wing so Lexi and Ava Mae decided to place it in their bug catcher until we got home later in the day. That evening the cicada's wing seemed to have fully extended so we placed it in some bushes so that it could go on its merry way.

We researched a little on the cicada and figured this was a seasonal species that there are actually over 2,500 species around the world. We also found that though a cicada can bite it is normally due to them mistaking a human arm or leg for a tree (they feed on tree sap), as they are not aggressive at all. Also, many people consider these bugs locust but, locusts are actually a type of grasshopper - which these are not. Cicadas are considered a delicacy in many countries and the shells are used in the practice of Chinese medicine. So, all you probably ever wanted to know about a cicada (and a little more) along with a great close up photograph that should give you nightmares for weeks to come.


Katie said...

cool. we find those shells all over our yard. So, is it the cicadas that are making such a racket?

Jen said...

I love doing things like that, too - following my kids' interests, even though we're not unschoolers. I think you have to take advantage of their interests!

PS: Following from the TOS Review Crew!