This does not fit into the proper category of “pressed flowers,” but it is still an “odd” item that works well in pressed flower compositions. It is the wing of a Cicada. I found this wing last summer and saved it. I also find cicadas lying on sidewalks and beneath trees that have fallen victim to old age or to Cicada Killer Wasps. Usually the victim has been completely hollowed out by ants or other insects.
I’ve never been squeamish or “girly” where bugs are concerned. I saved the hollow cicada over the winter in a jar, stored in the freezer. Cicadas have always fascinated me. I find the wing in the photograph above incredibly beautiful. Another amazing example of God’s handiwork. I will find a way to use it in a pressed flower composition…perhaps as “Fairy Wings.”
A good source of dried insect wings is the back window of a car or the front grill. Often the wings are intact. Another source is behind curtains or the space between screens and windows. In the spring there are territorial bumblebee battles in our backyard, and the losers of this war can sometimes be found lying in the gardens…vanquished, with wings intact. I know it sounds a bit gruesome to pull the wings off of dead bugs to use in art, but I find them lovely and worth saving.
I enjoy the thrumming of the cicadas in the summer. I often mark the true start of summer by the sound of their song. When I was a child one of my favorite books was “Charlie Cockatoo Visits the Insect World.” It was written by an Australian by the name of Keith Moxon. The book is filled with astonishing information on each insect. Each of the short stories within the book describes how the aborigines used the insects for food and is followed by a devotional paragraph. I hope one day that my grandsons will enjoy reading the stories found in the pages.