Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Sounds of Summer

When I think of the sounds of summer I think of Cicadas. Now when I was a kid for some reason I always thought that sound was tree frogs. Why? I don't know. Maybe one day years ago it went like this...."Daddy, what's that sound?" "It's a tree frog kid, now go and play!" Anyway, that's what I thought, tree frog.

Sitting outside on a hot summer day listening to their high pitched singing is so relaxing actually see the cast of one attached to your house and get an up close look at it. Eeewwww!!! This has freaked me out and ruined my relaxing time outside. I was brave and took pictures, though. So I thought, why not share the pictures, some info on them and freak everyone else out too!

Ontario has several species of Cicada with a life span of about 4 years or more. They can range in size from 2-5 cm. In the southern United States their Cicadas or "Locusts" can live for up to 17 years!!

The male Cicada is the one that makes the high pitched sound on hot humid summer days. He does this by vibrating, very rapidly, powerful muscles attached to the side of membranes. The female lays about 20 eggs in bark or twigs and when they hatch the nymphs (babies) enter the soil and form a cell near a tree root. Here they suck the sap where it takes about four years for them to develop.

I think that is creepy enough but gets creepier!

Then they crawl out of the ground and up (usually a tree, but this year we had one attached to the side of the dogs bed and the side of the house) and attach themselves, then their skin splits open down the middle of the back and the adult works its way out!!

For your viewing pleasure. You can see here the split down the back of the "cast" of the Cicada.

Aaaahhhh!! The sounds of summer!!

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