How cool to have a science experience just drop in our driveway...literally! I was pulling our driveway safety net out so the kids could play and I saw a cicada shedding its shell! Very cool especially because we had just watched a video about insects a couple of days ago and learned about how some insects grow this way. I tried to capture it in pictures, but they don't do the experience justice. Now, I'm assuming this is a cicada because I've never seen one before, but they are huge, and look like the pictures I've seen although this guys' head was wide and in the pics I've seen their heads were narrower.

The cicada shell was attached to the net as if a foot was still holding on. The cicada was very light green and we could see the first two legs and it's enormous head and beady black eyes.
After a few minutes we could see green fuzzy things on either side of it's big body and a few more legs. On the video we learned their bodies swell up after emerging from the shell and this was definitely true in this case! After a long time, actually only about 15 minutes or so, but long enough for Cutie Pie to say "I'm done with this now, Mommy" all but it's tail had made it out of the shell and it was very clear how much bigger the cicada was now as it's shell was just about empty and was only maybe half as big. (See picture above.) After a bit more it was all the way out of it's shell. About this time Sweet Pea wanted to investigate 'hands-on' so Hubby gently moved the cicada to a tree by enticing it to grab onto a stick, where it seemed to be resting. We kept the shell so Cutie Pie could see it up close and touch it.
The green fuzzy things were unraveling and clearly were it's wings. Also, it was becoming darker in color, just about all brown, now, which the video said happens when the new shell hardens. Cutie Pie did run over to check it out here and there after, just didn't want to stand and watch like me.
Below is the last pic I took of it. It's wings were all straightened out and every once in a while a leg would move or a wing would twitch. A few hours later the cicada was gone.
Very cool experience. I'm sure the people walking and driving by, as well as the men removing trees across the street, were wondering why we kept staring at the safety net and the tree, but it was such a cool experience I didn't care!

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Tags: 3, boys, children, nature, old, outdoor, science, yr

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