Monday, August 20, 2007

Learning of Nature

I don't expect to see anything interesting when I'm walking the dogs at 7:40am. Maybe I should, but years of nothing eventful taking place has surely jaded me. On the morning in question, I'm not talking about the lovely Monarch butterfly I saw hanging out on the Parkers' trellis, though Kathy and Emelia followed me out of the house, and Emelia was able to see the butterfly when we pointed it out to her.

What caught my attention was an odd sound high in a tree 20 feet away. It sounded like a cicada, but it seemed louder, somehow more insistent. Next thing I know two cicadas fell to the ground, and the clicking noise a cicada makes was altered by the brick on which they lay. I moved closer, and realized that it was only one cicada, still making that noise, and it was being attacked by, as Kathy put it, "a giant stingy thing." It looked like a wasp, but the coloring was unlike what I'd ever seen before. In another minute, the noise stopped, and the cicada was seemingly dead.

The giant stingy thing then began the task of carrying the cicada away. This wasn't an easy thing to do -- the cicada was quite a big bigger, but the GST persevered, dragging it for a while, flying for a foot or two, and carrying it into a bush. Eventually I had to go back to feed the dogs, but I was struck by this sight, something I'd never seen before.

Back home, sitting at the computer, Kathy googled around, and together we learned that what we saw was in fact a cicada killer wasp capturing its prey. Nice to know that being in the city hasn't deprived me of seeing a bit of nature every now and again.