Cicadas: The Vuvuzelas of the Insect World

Just out past Tresckow, heading towards Junedale and Beaver Meadows, I heard a sound unlike anything I'd heard in nature before. It sounded like the loud hum of truck tires, rolling along the highway, but a much higher pitch. Or maybe dozens of car alarms? Or, to my ears, dozens of Star Trek phasers being fired at once. For a moment, I really wondered if I were being abducted by aliens. It didn't sound like anything an animal, or an insect, would produce.

As I headed into a curve, I longed to see whatever was up ahead -- whether it was coming towards me or waiting for me to approach it. But when I got there, I only saw trees. Nothing but trees. And from every direction came this loud, spooky sound. I quickly pulled out my phone and shot this short video:


Until Thursday, I'd never actually heard the noise produced by the 17-year cicadas. I'd heard they were loud, but I really had no idea. It's a sound I'll not soon forget.


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