Friday, July 30, 2010

Stumbling Upon Miracles

A few days ago, Jim McCormac posted his find of a transforming lyric cicada in West Virginia- an amazing encounter and equally superb photographs by Jim.  I was inspired.  In the comments for Jim's post, filmmaker Opposable Chums queried "how DO you manage to stumble upon these miracles?".  I know how Jim does it- he is constantly looking for these types of very things- and let me tell you, he's not stumbling.

A few weeks ago I was walking out of the Cedar lodge at Batelle Darby Metropark with  Jim after the evening programs.  I'm chatting with him as I walked down the sidewalk and suddenly I realize he wasn't there anymore.  He stopped outside the door, in the twilight hours, and was checking out the hundreds of insects that had been attracted to the porch light.  I completely blew by the light- I wasn't in nature mode.  But Jim was- he is constantly looking for Nature's miracles.

Today, Megan, Weston and I attended the Ohio State Fair and Weston led me to a small miracle.  We targeted a shady area by a little leaf linden to let him out of the stroller and burn some energy.  After a round of chasing daddy around the tree, Weston picked up sticks and was hitting them against the bark of the tree trunk.  

As I was watching him do this, I discovered a shed cicada larval exoskeleton clinging to the tree.  I gave it to Weston, but he didn't recognize it as anything more than a dead leaf.  Soon after he discarded it, I realized that there were several more exoskeletons- and that two freshly hatched cicadas were clinging to the tree right in the middle of the Ohio State Fair. As I nudged the lower of the two, he intently watched as it crawled upwards.  As I scanned around the tree more intently, I found another cicada, this one much younger with its electric green blood coursing through its new body.

I'm constantly surprised by how nature is all encompassing- even in the middle of a city like Columbus.  Today it was Weston that reminded me that if we keep eyes and ears open to the world around us, we just never know what miracles of nature we might stumble into.



  1. I had also posted one of these the other day. It was just out. And I have skeletal remains everywhere and hear them so they must be here and on the move or gone back now.

    I enjoyed this post and the story with it. I saw you over at Steve's Blue Jay Barrens.

  2. Nice Abe- Isn't the color fantastic? Blue Jay Barrens is an amazing place with an equally awesome blog written by Steve.