During the months of late July and through August the cicadas sing their cacophony high in the maple and elm trees in the neighborhood. In high season their symphony can be very loud and their shells can be seen still clinging to tree trunks, which my young son liked to pick off and put into a cicada shell collection jar. Towards the end of their life span the music dwindles to a buzz here and there. By the end of August and early September the large eyed bugs have lived their short life above ground and can be found in the grass and the sidewalks at the end of their life cycle. Since I tend to enjoy going for walks in the neighborhood in the summer time I would stumble upon many of these ridged cicadas. Their morphology always fascinated me in a somewhat mysterious way, especially their beautiful wings and bubble eyes.
This last summer one of these big bugs landed on our bedroom window screen and I took some photos of it and this got me thinking about how interesting it would be to try to mill a wing and see what kind of impression it would leave. Mind you, there is no way that I would ever touch a live bug as big as this, so you know that what I did was use one that was past it's prime to experiment. After mustering much courage, I snapped the wing off of one of the dead cicadas and ran it in the mill against annealed copper, dipped it in liver of sulfur, drilled a few holes and polished it up . The result was pretty fantastic. It was as if the memory of this cicada would go on for a while longer imprinted into copper. There is something kind of cool about that.