Friday, July 23, 2010

Songs of the Cicadas

The Cicadas hit us hard us hard this year in Indiana. They are a very interesting bug. First came the casings. I started spotting these early this year. We usually don't see them as early as June, but our trees were full of them. Small skeleton shells, much like a skin from a snake. They cling to the trees like little empty clips.

Next come the songs... Now, if you have never heard Cicada's humming it could frighten you. I actually find it soothing, even beautiful. I don't understand how they do it. how they synchronize and are in harmony. Very cool. I read that the way they make the sound is nothing like a Cricket. Rather,

They are beautiful, in a creepy sort of way. I would guess most are about 1-2 inches long, but can be longer. Look much like a mutant horse fly. LOL. They are not fast like horse & house flies, rather slow. They have three eyes small eyes between the two large eyes on top of their heads (I betcha didn't know that!). The also "sweat" to cool themselves down and lower their temperature. They stay out of sight, I suppose at the tops of my trees.
I know they are here, I certainly can hear them! Unlike crickets, they make their sound from noise makers on their sides that form membranes that tighten & relax their muscles causing the sounds. Sorry~ didn't mean to get all Mr Scientist. I just find it bizarre.
Sometimes they kind of freak me out when it is very late, and I am out with the dogs. It's dark, and very quite...except for them. They will slowly start up, and get louder & louder, as if approaching, then SILENCE.
Then again, I get creeped out easily as I am such a frady cat!

One of the strange facts about them that intrigue me is their lifespan. They can live 13-17 years!


A human kind of human said...

Over here we call them "Sonbesies" (directly translated, that means Sun Beetles). They sing especially loud when the sun is very hot in summer. I love their sound and immediately notice when they are not singing, which is not very often.

janis said...

Sonbesies? That is interesting. Yes, it is a sign of summer to us too!

Linda said...

I enjoyed this post. :) We've just always called them Locusts here in Illinois... and funny, that you mention them because although they were super loud a few weeks ago, I haven't heard them as much in this past week... maybe because it's just TOO HOT AND HUMID out there for everyone, including them. ;)

I normally love summer, but the Central Illinois humidity has finally really gotten to me, especially this week - been so sick with sinus migraines. It finally let up today.

Thanks for an enjoyable read... :)

Lori ann said...

We were in a forest with a million cicadas once, the sound was deafening. I was kind of scared too!

JC said...

I get crickets or frogs (don't know which one) that sing each Spring. I live in the woods and just beyond my fence is a wetland area and each year they sing for months and months and just when you can't stand it anymore .. they quit. Silence until next year.

pink dogwood said...

They creep me out too, I am not sure if we have cicadas every summer or not, but every (17?) years we do get boat loads of them and then they are every where and it is a creepy time. I don't mind listnening to them sing in the backyard, I am scared when they fly into me.