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The Sound of Cicadas

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

When my son picked me and Tommy up at the airport upon our return from New Mexico, he told us that someone’s house alarm had been going off all day. It was nearly midnight when we got home and all was quiet outside. Oh well, he said they must have finally come home and shut it off. The next morning Tommy awoke before me to let Thor outside and came to tell me that I needed to call the Sheriff’s office because the alarm was going off again. Something was obviously wrong!

I got up and went outside to investigate. I instantly recognized this sound from a number of years ago and had to laugh out loud that both my husband and son thought this was a distant house alarm. Nope, this was the annoying sound of cicadas, those curious creatures that live most of their lives underground, and that’s the best place for them!

I had read several weeks before that they were supposed to be bad this year. No Kidding! They hum and buzz all day long from sun up to sunset, male cicadas looking for a mate. They are in all of my trees and bushes, and even invading my plants on my front porch. I try to shake them off, but they return. The plot of land I used to call my yard has now been conquered by these cunning creatures; I waved the white flag and surrendered. I walk through my former yard and they launch into flight in front of my face obviously startled by the intrusion. I sweep their empty shells from my front porch daily knowing that there will be more tomorrow. Yes, they are everywhere. I suppose I should be happy they quiet down after dark.

Then I started asking friends at work if they were bothered by the sound of cicadas, only to be met with puzzled looks from them. It seems as though nobody else I know is hearing the chorus of mating calls at their houses. And do you know why? It’s because they are ALL at my house!

Tommy and I went to my uncle’s vacation house in Jefferson over the weekend where it was wonderfully peaceful and quiet, only to return home to find the sound of cicadas even louder than when we left. Now we can actually hear them inside with our doors and windows closed.

Soon they will head back to their little burrows underground, the property around our house will be returned to its rightful owners, and the peace and quiet will return to our neck of the woods. I’m just thankful that they’re not out every year.

For those of you who have never seen one, this is a cicada. I decided if they weren't going to leave, I'd at least take some pictures of them.

An empty cicada shell.

Hope you all have a wonderful (and peaceful and quiet) week.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • DOODIE59
    Those are fabulous photos! It is freaky to imagine them all over the place. Have they done much damage to your property? We get the annual summer visits, but as someone else here said -- it's a weird sound but definitely a sound of summer, and for that reason a pleasure to hear.
    Hope life is good in your neck of the woods:)
    1748 days ago
    Interesting looking bugs. I gather they are like locust. We have neither out here.
    Nothing like music hehe...I'm glad you went Kayaking. I'm not really afraid of snakes, but Water Moccasins would scare me. I hear they can be aggressive. Good thing they swam by you, and kept going lol.
    1756 days ago
    I haven't heard cicadas around us -- even though our place here in Connecticut should be getting them according to the map that Jodi referenced.

    It sounds like your place is ground zero for cicada dating this summer.

    We have a lot of wetlands near us - so each spring we get all those frogs that are busy courting each other. They make quite a racket.
    Although I have come to love their songs; they remind me it's springtime.


    1757 days ago
    Cindy, if you need more subjects for photos, there are plenty at our house. Evidently they don't live in the city! I am so glad they sleep at night and don't wake until the sun shines! Am told they can last weeks! Yipes emoticon
    1759 days ago
    Oh yes, I know that sound! I am glad the are only in that kind of abundance every 17 years. I remember when my older daughter was about 8 or so, there were a ton of them. Her and the other little girl she played with were collecting those empty shells, digging some of them out of the ground, and collecting them in a big pot in the yard. Gross!!! But at least soon they will grow quiet again. In the meantime, try not to let it drive you insane LOL.
    1759 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/29/2013 12:37:28 PM
    I have never seen or heard them.

    I hope you get peace and quiet soon!
    1760 days ago
    Fascinating. As far as I know, we don't get them here. Great pictures and what a story!
    1760 days ago
    Interesting.... We haven't been bothered in our neck of the woods - kinda been on the lookout ("listenout") for them.
    Great pictures!
    Count it all joy - it DOES represent summer - if only every 17 years!
    1760 days ago
  • _JODI404
    Continued... so I mentioned this to hubby and he thought we would have already had them here by now if we were to get them. So I googled and found this page with some maps and info:


    It looks like we may not get that mess here! We do have the annual ones that you hear at night here, but those are nothing compared to the 17 year critters.

    Whew. (I hope!)
    1760 days ago
  • _JODI404
    That is a funny story about the "house alarm".

    Ewww, those things are so creepy to me! I did hear it would be a bad year. I remember them in VA -- it must have been when I was 13, 2 x 17 years ago when my Dad was building his house. They were constantly flying at/on us.

    I am very thankful they aren't annual as well! Haven't heard or seen them here in ATL yet. I wish we could be so lucky as to not have them at our house!! Sorry you were the chosen representative for your area. ;)

    Hope your peace and quiet resumes soon!
    1760 days ago
    I remember them from when I was a child in El Paso, TX.
    1760 days ago
    I enjoy the sound as well, though it can truly become annoying when it is nonstop!
    1760 days ago
    Wow! Glad they only come along every 17 years!! Hang in there:)
    1760 days ago
  • MEOWZ3
    i love the sound of cicadas! it reminds me it is totally summertime!!!!
    1760 days ago
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