“I do love the beginning of the summer hols,’ said Julian. They always seem to stretch out ahead for ages and ages.’
‘They go so nice and slowly at first,’ said Anne, his little sister. ‘Then they start to gallop.”
― Enid Blyton, Five Go Off in a Caravan
Ah, summer is finally here! And with it comes some unique sounds. Walking to my car from an out-of-town appointment recently, I felt stunned by deafening noise — like a hissing, industrial-sized steam radiator or thousands of jingling sleigh bells in my ear. But, it was June. There was no snow and I was amidst a woodland parking area.
Another woman walking nearby and I looked at each other in agreement, “Cicadas” yet I had never been in their presence before. At least I don’t recall them 17 years ago.
Apparently I was hearing Brood X, which according to the Smithsonian, their “amorous din can reach roughly 100 decibels, which is just shy of standing three feet from a chainsaw.” Mesmerized, I made a quick video of this daunting experience (then looked them up when I got home to learn more about them).
People are different and respond differently. A recent article reported how a frightened person unfamiliar with Cicadas called 911. (I understand 911 receives some very strange calls.) Apparently, the caller envisioned their lush surroundings being deforested like a Chinese army relentlessly marching closer and closer toward its prey. While it’s daunting to see legions of Cicadas flying, landing or freshly squished, thankfully, they are not destructive like Locusts.
This YouTube video shows other ways people experience Cicadas — from appreciating this natural phenomenon of nature to marketing and even eating them.
I kept the car windows down that day, listening to the Cicadas’ song — at least until I passed through towns where it was quiet. No trees. Only buildings. I wondered if they’d reach my home several hours away. (Not this year at least.)
The Cicadas reminded me that specific sounds define summer for me. From daytime bees buzzing, lawnmowers roaring, kids cheering, fans whirling, and fancy-free Harley Davidson riders to the nightly chorus of katydids, crickets, and tree frogs — the electric aliveness happily spells SUMMER to my ears. Even the transitional rhythmic waves expanding from whispers of gentle lapping to roaring recitation proclaim it’s SUMMER!
What are your favorite summer sounds? If you hear things that distinctively state, “This is summer!” share them in this month’s Changing Focus blogging challenge. Post your response in your preferred format — photos, narrative, and/or music — add Changing Focus blogging challenge as a tag, and provide a link to your response in a comment on this post. I’ll highlight it at next month’s end. In the meantime, here’s a few photos of my summer sounds:
“Summertime is always the best of what might be.”
― Charles Bowden