I want to say one word to you. Just one word.... Plastics.”
Mr. McGuire, The Graduate

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Art and Science

For the past two weeks, I have been noticing very large bugs hanging from the knitted panels. A visitor told me they were cicadas that had molted so I was actually seeing a shell of a bug, not an actual bug. Of course I had to go to Wikipedia to find out more:
"After mating, the female cuts slits into the bark of a twig, and into these she deposits her eggs. When the eggs hatch, the newly hatched nymphs drop to the ground, where they burrow. Most cicadas go through a life cycle that lasts from two to five years. The nymphs feed on root juice and have strong front legs for digging.In the final nymphal instar, they construct an exit tunnel to the surface and emerge. They then molt (shed their skins) on a nearby plant for the last time and emerge as adults. The abandoned skins remain, still clinging to the bark of trees."
This means a few things: the nymphs were there in May, feeding underneath the ground when I installed the panels, which I hate to admit is a little creepy. But more importantly, it means that cicadas are art appreciators, and will choose to cling to beautiful trees for the last stage of their childhood! It can also mean that knitted plastic easily traps twigs and dead bugs. One or the other. In any case, below are a few photos of the skins!

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