Friday, August 22, 2008

August 22, 2008 1st instar!

On Tuesday night I left here for Falmouth to have an MRI. My ENT thought that it might be time have one just to make sure my dizziness isn't something more serious. I left with time to spare and quickly but thouroughly checked the trees in the Falmouth Hospital parking lot for annual cicada nymphs and found nothing. It was a busy night in the Emergency room and due to an emergency MRI I was pushed back from 8:45 to 9:15. While sitting in the waiting room, Elias called to tell me he'd caught at 1st instar Magicicada nymph. The periodicals lay their eggs in the branches of trees and 6-8 week later the eggs hatch into little white walking specks. This is pretty much the last part of the magicicada cycle to be seen. These 1st instars will drop from the branches to the ground, bury themselves into the soil, attach to a root and lay in wait for 17 years going through 3 more instars before they emerge again in their 4th instar form to turn into Cicada's. The whole process is simply amazing. I was very excited for Elias but only texted him after hearing his voicemail, concerned I'd be called in while talking. The MRI was mostly uneventful. I was injected with contrast dye about halfway through the test, but it was nearly painless with no unpleasant side effects. I left the hospital and checked trees on my way back to the van. I usually make a policy of not talking on my cell while driving, but it was night, and the roads mostly abandoned so I bent my rule and called Elias to congratulate him. We chatted for a bit, then I called Mike to let him know everything went well. I arrived home to find both Em and Dan still awake. I tucked them into bed and retired as well.

Wednesday was uneventful. Em worked, Dan and I spent some time at the beach, went bug and blackberry hunting since they are in season right now. I checked a few trees for instars but didn't find anything. We picked Em up from work, just in time for me to go to work. Em's been great about watching Dan for me, never complains and even volunteers before she's asked. She's a real treasure, and I appreciate what a great kid she is even more now that I'm working with kids her age who are doing things I would disapprove of. I arrived home early Thursday morning to find a message from Nettie saying she'd be down at 7am to take Marley to have hip x-rays in Warren, RI at noon. Dan had story time at the library (which was eventually cancelled) so I told Nettie I couldn't do it. Knowing it was going to be an early morning to bed I went.

Thursday morning I awoke at 6:15 and realized I had very little time to get alot of stuff done. Started laundry, cleaned the puppy pen, vacuumed, and did a quick cleanup. Em's great with Dan but the house is generally trashed when I get home. Nettie and Gram arrived at 7, I made them some tea and we talked until it was time for Em to go to work. Nettie and Gram made their way up the hill a little after 9am. Melissa and Danny were up there as well as Jessie, John and Suzanne. Jessie was upset that Nettie didn't call, and left for most of the day. I invited Nettie and Gram to stay for dinner, and prepared Chicken parmagiana, cesar salad and corn on the cob, which Emily finished off after I left for work. Mike arrived home just before 5pm, ate dinner then with Nettie's help returned the box truck. Em, Dan and Mike visited me at Dunkin before heading home and putting Dan to bed. Work was good, but the power went out just minutes before midnight. With nothing more to do and rescue vehicles on the move, we closed the shop and went off ambulance chasing. A short distance down the road an SUV had missed a corner and landed in someone's front yard. Thankfully, it didn't look like anyone was hurt. I arrived home to find Mike barely awake, he kept me company for a quick cup of tea, we climbed into bed shortly before 1am.

Friday morning and we all got to sleep late. Marley woke me up at 6am because she needed to feed the pups, but I went right back to sleep and Dan woke us up at 8:30am. It was good to catch up. It was our day to feed the animals at Green Briar so we dressed and headed over there. Afterwards we went to The BeeHive Restaurant in West Barnstable. We thought we were going to a breakfast shop but it turned out to be a higher end lunch and dinner place. Mike and Em had burgers, Dan a corn dog and I had terrific cajun scallops with sweet potato fries (which I'm now paying for) We arrived home to a hot sunny summer day and Dan and I changed for the beach. Mike decided he'd nap and was still asleep at 4pm when Dan and I had had enough. We showered, changed and headed out for some true 1st instar hunting of our own, armed with a burgandy fleece blanket and a small pill bottle for any specimens. We found nothing in the neighborhood and made our way across Pimlico Pond Rd to the old road and walked up a bit. I broke a few branches across the way but found nothing. I also tried Elias' technique of laying something dark under the branches and shaking them hoping any loose ones might fall onto the blanket. Neither approached worked until I snapped a branch and saw something move. Amazingly enough I'd found a nymph, quickly put it in my bottle, and texted Elias...the only person in the world that I know that would be as excited as I was. True to form he texted back how thrilled he was for me. Here's a video I made of my nymph. Dan and I walked home and prepared Chicken Caccitore for men's night with italian antipasto vegetables and rice. We had a good showing and after winning two games of cribbage it was time to update my blog then head to bed.

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