Saturday, May 7, 2011
We are going on about a week now since the cicada buzz started. Last Saturday I woke up to a distant siren-like noise. Quickly I found out that different people throughout the lake could also hear this same noise. Taking advantage of technology I posed a question on Facebook to see if any of my local friends knew what this noise was. In a matter of minutes I found out that the noise was the cicadas.
Since, I have learned that these insects come every 13 years and could potentially stay through the Summer... At first I thought it would be annoying, but surprisingly enough I have become rather used to this loud buzz and am pretty sure the dogs are enjoying it too because they are spending unbelievable amounts of time outside, on their own, relaxing.
How loud could it really be? Turn up the volume of your computer and listen to this video that I took this morning in my backyard (please excuse the panting of the dogs at the beginning):
Here are some interesting facts:
* The periodical cicadas, which live on a 13-year cycle, are smaller than the so-called "dog day" cicadas that emerge every summer. But their numbers make them seem louder.
* Periodical cicadas emerge in the spring, have black bodies, bright red eyes and orange-veined wings.
* Cicada nymphs emerge from the ground, crawl up trees, shed their skins, and fly to the treetops from which the males call for mates. Females reply with wing clicks to lure in the males.
* Only male cicadas sing, and they sing only during the day.
* Cicadas are not pests, so there is no reason for alarm.
* Cicadas are not locusts: Locusts eat all plants -- cicadas sip plant sap and don't damage plants.
* Female cicadas lay their eggs in slits in twig tips; this can cause the end of the branch to die and fall off
* This year's periodical cicadas come from eggs laid in 1998 -- when this year's high school graduating class was in kindergarten. [this one is scary!]
Source: www.11alive.com; Macon, GA