Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers – 2

Dammed lakes are containers of water for multiple uses: drinking water, recreation, flood control. McKinley Lake in our town’s primary public park was originally dammed to supply water to the local rail industry in the late 1800’s*, covering over 40 acres. It now serves the sole purpose of public recreation.

Help me out if you can identify the wild flowers that grow on the bank of the lake.

Here are a few more containers I saw on my morning walk.

HERE is a link to how others are interpreting the theme, “containers.”

*History from the McKinley Lake Restoration Project website

“The lake on the west edge of Creston was originally built in 1874 by the C.B. & Q Railroad. The lake was forty-five acres in size and was created by damming up a creek that drained thirty thousand acres of land. The entire land area including the lake was an 80 acre tract.  They built it with the purpose of creating a Holly System of Waterworks. A 7 inch water main brought water directly to the center of town from the Lake. It provided water to the Round Houses and Machine Shops as well as many downtown businesses. A communication system was developed so the yard manager could tell the waterworks supervisor when more water must be sent up. In the winter ice was cut from the lake for railroad use between Burlington and Council Bluffs. All the ice used in Creston was also cut from the lake.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers

I was mowing around a tree in early June when I noticed a plethora of insect skins around the tree’s base. The arrival of the 17-Year Cicada (Brood III) had been announced by the media, but I was not expecting it in my backyard.
IMGP9006As I looked up the trunk of the tree, the tiny, empty casings of the morphing nymphs covered the branches and leaves as the winged cicadas had shed their skins for their short adult life.
IMGP9005

Though I did not witness the cicadas’ emergence (nor manage to photograph a live one), each decaying skin had the same hatched opening like a two-sided convertible top being retracted for their release.

IMGP9014

There were often thread-like ribs that appeared to have been stretched from the exoskeleton as the cicadas came out.

IMGP9017

With so many cicadas winging their way into my neighborhood, I expected a cacophony of buzzing. Surprisingly, they must flown to other areas since I would only hear an occasional “love call” in the afternoons…not that I missed it.  The decibel levels (up to 120 dB) produced by a male are the loudest of all insects and have been known to create permanent hearing loss when  in direct proximity to the human ear.

The adult cicada’s short life-span now complete with mating and the laying of eggs in slits made by the female in deciduous tree leaves, the eggs hatch after 6-7 weeks. Then, the nymphs fall to the ground, burrowing two feet down to start the 17-year cycle all over again.

For more examples of this week’s photo challenge of “containers,” click HERE. Additionally, HERE is a link to the local newspaper’s reporting of this “buzz.”