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Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Sounds Of Summer

(If you must have politics, please scroll down)

Do certain sounds of nature bring back memories for you?

My own memories associated with this sound include the realization that the seasonal swimming days are coming to an end and that the heat and humidity are the most unbearable when these bugs sing.  The lazy, hazy days of summer — when the water in the swimming pool is like bath water!

The Scissors Grinder Cicada (Tibicen pruinosa):

Cicadas are sometimes called jar flies or dog days cicadas.


  1. Last night the cicadas were playing their symphony then I realized I hadn't heard the crickets in awhile.

    1. Supi,
      In Northern Virginia, we don't hear much from the crickets until mid-August or late-August. Their song continues until the first freeze.

      When I hear crickets in August, I know that the opening of schools isn't far off. As a child, I associated the singing of the crickets as a harbinger of the end of fun and games; as a teacher, when I hear those crickets, I know that I need to get my lesson plans in order.

  2. Yes, indeed, the cicadas song brings back memories of childhood. Even in a city, we would hear them as we sat on our front porch telling ghost stories.

    No, we did not have air conditioning. AC has moved us all inside where we don't hear nature's music, anymore. I would talk about how we miss those days, but there is no way I would wish an August summer day on anybody without air conditioning in Memphis, Tennessee where I spent my childhood. That would be akin to torture.

    1. Bob,
      we would hear them as we sat on our front porch telling ghost stories

      Adding more creepiness to the story telling, I'm sure!

      I grew up without AC. August was a month of misery -- and the only relief was going to the swimming pool. Getting any decent sleep at night on the second floor of the house I grew up in was impossible during the dog days.

  3. In addition to Scissors Grinder Cicadas, we are also hearing "regular" cicadas here. It seems that this year's brood hatched out several weeks later than expected (expected dates were in May and June) -- probably because of our unusually cool spring and early summer.

  4. Before we had air conditioning we used to open the windows on hot summer nights in hopes of catching a bit of breeze now and then. I remember listening to "The Peepers" -- the chorus of tiny tree frogs that filled the night air with throbbing song.

    I miss hearing those sounds -- also the crickets and the locusts -- and the occasional birdcalls that punctuated The Evening Symphony.

    We need to regain a more intimate contact with Nature. I think it would help.

    1. FT,
      We are having exceptionally nice weather here right now.

      Last night, I slept with the windows open. It actually got chilly in the house. In August! The water in the swimming pool is so cold already that I can't even manage to complete three laps.

      I can't identify all the sounds that Mother Nature at Night is serenading us with this summer.

      When dusk fell last night, three bucks appeared in my back yard. Two were youths, but the third one was a least 3 years old because he had such a rack of antlers and was so tall. I walked down the side street so as to get a better look at the magnificent creature as he browsed my wooded lot. He had no fear of humans, and there were two of us gazing at him: a neighbor's seven-year-old boy on a bicycle (circling over and over agin in the street) and, of course, I.

      We need to regain a more intimate contact with Nature. I think it would help.

      No hippie, I. But I agree!

  5. We have a pond on our lot, and after the cicadas (we call them locusts) fade out in the evening, the frogs begin to sing. I love it.

    AOW, I envy your weather in August.
    Right now, the sound that reminds me of summer is my AC running non-stop. It literally never stops!

    As Fall approaches, I hear the wind rustle the leaves of my favorite sycamore tree. And yes, the crickets.

    1. Jen,
      You have a pond? We used to have a small concrete pond here -- until the thing started leaking and repairing it became an exercise in futility. Lord knows that I tried over and over again to repair that pond, which even had a beautiful lily pad in it.

      In its heyday, we had bullfrogs in that pond. The pond was just outside the master bedroom's window, and the call of the bullfrogs was a joy to listen to.

      We are having unusually cool weather right now, and the crickets are beginning in earnest.


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