Tuesday, August 21, 2007

B.I.G. AND U.G.L.Y. Bug

We went to Walmart this morning. It's a great deal of fun being able to just go to the store without having to maneuver the after school crowd. We saw several mommies with their toddlers. J-man loved running ahead and then stopping and running back to me. He's at least staying in the same aisle.

He thinks he's big stuff.

Once Home, everyone helped carry in the bags. Mini-Me said, "There's a big bug outside. It's yellow and black striped with a brown head. I stayed AWAY from it!"

Okay. I said absently. Checking for messages and any e-mails that might have come in that needed immediate attention.

I went outside to gather in bags and purse and a diet coke I didn't need and she said "Look mom, there it is!"

I looked. It's a Cicada killer.
They are among the creepiest bugs EVER. A huge wasp...Oh - wait...Here's a link I found. I couldn't run in and get my camera soon enough - Prof. Holliday here has a picture at the bottom with a cicada killer actually climbing onto his hand. He's either brave or nuts. He's got fabulous pictures!

Then there's Wikipedia. And any number of other sites, come to think of it.

The first time that I saw this type of wasp, it flew past me and went into an underground burrow. It was huge to me - I mean it flew right by me. I first thought of the creatures from "Apollyon". Then I called my dad and said, "What the heck...?" And he told me what it was.

So when I saw it today, it was dragging a cicada across the lawn. I followed it to the tree and then watched to see what it would do. I wanted to see where it's burrow was located. It went up the tree!! It was the freakiest and coolest thing ever.

It climbed with a few feet and flew with it's wings, NEVER letting go of it's food source. It kept going straight up. I don't know why, as most of what I've read said they burrow underground. I don't know if it would go up and get a better lift off to fly home...or if it had found a place to live in my tree. It went straight up...Of course, standing there I got a bit nervous. What if it accidentally let go of it's paralyzed cicada and it bonked me in the face.

Mini-Me was not as fascinated as I was. That wasp had tenacity. It never let go of it's kill. It kept going up, up, up.... Resting when it could get a good foot hold. For it's two front feet.

Granted, I don't want to paralyze anyone, I just want that kind of stick-to-it-ness.


jugglingpaynes said...

I'm so glad you've been learning from watching animals. I've seen these but never knew what they were. You taught me something today. Did it ever fly from the tree? Maybe it does need some height to take off with a cicada in tow. Like how gliding mammals need to climb trees to take wing.

Peace and Laughter,
A fellow Hufflepuffer (Hufflepuffler?)

Halfmoon Girl said...

Quite something. I was watching an ant carrying something twice its size the other day- up a wall! I was impressed!

Becky said...

I would not get withing a mile of that thing! And I am talking with experience here. We live where they grow BIG BUGS!

It was fun to catch up with you. I love Flat Stanley. He seemed to fit right into your family hide and seek games.

And I am so glad you found your stuff. Blogging is so much more fun with a camera :)

Thanks for stopping by today.

ThoughtfulMom said...

Ew! That is one ugly bug.

Interesting lesson, though. That's quite a lot of perseverance.

NeeCee said...

Oh, next time try and catch it. Joylyn has to collect bugs for her Biology project. LOL

Tracy said...

Stuff like that totally fascinates me. I love looking at the bugs my boys catch...as long as it isn't a spider!

Anonymous said...

That is one of the ugliest things I've ever seen! What was it doing in that tree? I read in your links that burrow! It's a mutant! EEK

Did you notice that the females are larger than the males? She must do all the carrying. Figures.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I messed up. It's not your links that burrow. It's the evil wasp thingy.

Jenn4Him said...

We have a ton of cicada here right now. I probably have those killers too, but have not been out much with the extreme humidity. Very educational. Thanks!

Mrs. Darling said...

Oh mercy. We dont even have cicades here let alone that ugly thing. I would have ran as fast as my legs could carry me. Thats just terrible.

Debbie said...

I'm with your daughter..... I stay away from ALL bugs, critters, creatures, ...........lol

Dapoppins said...

Bugs can be facinating, I will admit. But bugs with stingers scare me.

The Gang's All Here! said...

OMIGOSH! My kids and I just fled our front porch in fright of one of those things Monday a.m. We didn't have the foggiest notion to what they might be, and couldn't think how to even begin searching for what to call them. One thing sure, they scared the snot out of three of us! Thanks for the links - now we're all a little wiser. And now Daddy has to get rid of the apparent nest in my rock garden!

southerngirlmusings said...

Yuck..I am not one for bugs and that thing is huge. We do not get cicadas as often and when they came out a few years ago, I stayed in the house as much as possible. :)

It would be great to have that kind of stick-to-it-ness, let's keep striving.

The Gang's All Here! said...

P.S. If you like Wikipedia's page on these guys, check out their entry on HUMMINGBIRD MOTHS! We thought we had a baby hummingbird in our petunias a few weeks back. Turns out it's actually a moth. And not nearly as charming or attractive as the hummingbird we thought it to be!

PPS I love your blog :)

TobyBo said...

he *is* big.

and he *is* ugly.