Gallery - Birds and Bees and other Creatures

Bug #3 - 17-year Cicada

Bug #3 - 17-year Cicada


12x12" (includes black wood frame, 14x14")


The 17-year Cicada is a natural denizen of the Northeastern USA, but a few do make their home the southernmost part of Canada near Lake Erie. The males are endowed with a distinctive rasping call that some refer to as the 'sound of summer'. The hatchlings spend 17 years underground as root sucking nymphs followed by a dramatic emergence, only to live and breed for one short month. There are dozens of cicada species across North America - but for most, the nymph stage lasts only a couple of years.

We tend to consider the adult stage as the most valid part of any creature’s life, but when you think about it, this creature had a wonderfully full and happy life in the dark earth well into its teens. So let’s remember that when we’re cocooning for long hours on the couch in times of stress: maybe that’s what we’re made for, and the rest is just window dressing (nature has so much to teach us). In this piece, 17 cicada nymphs wait in comfort for their moment in the sun.