The Cicadas are Driving me Crazy! (An Author’s Coping Mechanism)

cicada

Cicadas. Our periodic “friends” that provide the charming evening sounds characteristic of late summer.

Occasionally (every 17 years or so, depending on the brood), they emerge en masse, leaving semi-transparent husks clinging to trees like the ghosts of cicadas past, flying out of nowhere to tangle unexpectedly in your hair, and becoming embedded on the front ends of our cars while driving on the highway (cicada goop takes forever to get off paint…believe me, I know >_<).

And I can’t forget to mention this one because it’s the reason for this post: during the brood years they sing their no-longer-sweet siren song ALL DAY LONG.

2016 is one of the years for brood V to emerge. I thought that the brood wasn’t supposed to spread this far into Ohio, but apparently that is not the case. At first, I welcomed the sound–I even took a video to capture their chirring.

The cicadas are back! Now playing the official soundtrack of summer 😜 #cicada #summer #nature #naturegram

A post shared by Rachel R. Smith (@rachel_r._smith) on

I told myself to memorize the rise and fall of the sound, the heat and humidity of the air, the color of the sun in the evening sky so that I could use it to inspire settings in my writing.

As it turns out that was not necessary. Oh no. There’s no way I can forget those details. You see, I can now hear them chirping all day long. Every day. Inside the house or outside the house. The sound is so loud that Hubby actually went from room to room trying to figure out which window is open. o_O (Hint: none of them were open–it’s just that loud.)

It’s ok though. I’ve found one place of refuge to escape the sound: the basement. Sure it’s cold and dark, but it’s blissfully silent. If you need me in the next few weeks, you can find me down there. I’ll be swaddled in blankets like it’s December and telling myself to memorize this feeling so that I use it to inspire settings in my writing…and wondering if my dear characters will hate me forever for subjecting them to the incessant chirping as well. (I’m pretty sure Echidna would have me locked up and throw away the key. :P)

6 Comments

  1. Yes, they’re louder than I remember! But if I can tune out the excessively loud noise of the medical alarms (B/P and dialysis machines) all day long then I can certainly manage the noise from a few bugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. While they are loudest in the evening right around sunset, they do indeed chirp at night–even late into the night–but at least they quiet down a bit. The other night I could hear them around 3am and at first I thought it was an electrical hum from our oscillating fan.

      Liked by 1 person

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