I grew up in Southern California so I have heard the sound of cicadas before. On some summers days more than others we would hear their loud, otherworldly sound buzzing out from any wooded area nearby. I thought the sound was creepy, and it’s “war of the worlds” quality made me think something dangerous was waiting in the wings (no pun intended).
I also lived in Arizona during what several locals told me was a very noteworthy “cicada year”. I learned that some species have a long underground life cycle, and only “blossom” forth from the earth every several years to raise that unearthly racket as they party the summer heat away like beetley college students on spring break.
Well last month I noticed the most outrageous screeching sound in the wooded area around my daughter´s school. After months of complaining about the lack of concern about noise pollution, I was sure it was some sort of outrageous power equipment, or maybe a car alarm. I planned to head to the office to complain. The noise was so loud and shrill I was concerned about the little nervous systems under the school´s care, and was about ten times louder than any cicada song I had ever heard. One could not hold a conversation standing near the woods.
Before I reached to office I heard someone complaining about the bugs and joined the conversation. It turns out the noise was from the tropical version of cicadas, out on their annual spring break rampage. Trust me when I say the noise from the hills around the school was so far beyond what I thought a few bugs could accomplish!
Well things have quieted down lately, leaving nothing but crispy little exoskeletons clinging to the trees. On one particular tree I found over 30 hollow beetle shells frozen in motion. these aliens have lost their war on civilization this year, having shed their old skins and moved on, like most spring break crowds do.
If you come around March sometime do not be surprised to be unable to hold a conversation anywhere near certain types of trees, but not to worry, just a couple weeks and it is over. There will only be tons of decorative shells clinging to the trees. I guess this is appropriate for easter time.