The other day, I was putting the girls into the car. I could hear the yearly "dog-day" cicadas buzzing here and there, but suddenly I heard one specific one give an extra loud BUZZ.
A large tussle was going on in the driveway, so I grabbed the girls back out of the car to investigate:
A wasp belonging to nightmares was wrestling a cicada:
Eastern Cicada Killer Wasp
Jesus, Mary and Joseph. This bug was at least 2 1/2 inches long. (In my nightmares, it's 7 feet long and has PMS)
Look at your pinkie finger. It was like that long.
The girls and I watched with fascinated horror as this thing stung the cicada, and I swallowed hard as I saw that great, fat abdomen pulse over and over.
(Hang on. I got the oogies...)
I read that the females paralyze their food, carry it off to their nest, lay an egg on the helpless victim and then closes up the nest cell. The egg hatches in a few days and has a ready-made meal waiting for them.
(ooooooo...I need to do a full body-shiver)
But I didn't know that as I watched the wasp tackle this cicada. Our approach made the wasp take off, and we peered down sadly at the cicada as it twitched.
I thought it was in its death throes, but instead it was just slowly losing its ability to move.
On a prettier note, here's a yet-unidentified damselfly:
My goodness, I love dragonflies and damselflies. If hummingbirds are the "flying jewels" of the bird world, what can we call these beauties?
A mixture of engineering, art and magic?
Oh, heck. I have to put a bird pic in here: