Over at Lisa’s blog: “Hey Sparky, What Time Is It?” the birds and bees are singing their hearts out! (got ya curious :P? Meant to say *bugs* – birds and *bugs* :)). But there’s one question that went left unanswered for me, so I’ve decided to give it my best shot here on my blog.
The question…What exactly is making that noise up in the trees late at night and into the wee morning hours here in our area? I can tell you what it’s not….it’s not the Cicada bug. Those bugs live underground for 17 years and then they come out, live for approximately 1 – 2 weeks and die. However, during the time that they are out, they fly everywhere and are everywhere, making such a loud noise (day and night) that it’s deafening! It’s totally a myth that if the cicada falls from the tree that it dies! They have just lived in the ground for 17 years, so I don’t think not being on a tree will kill them :). Let alone the fact that when they come out of the ground (after 17 years, not only are the trees alive with these bugs, but the ground is literally moving with them.
How do I know this? Because when we lived in Virginia (2003) we experienced it first hand! You could not even walk on the grass without stepping on one of these bugs! They were absolutely EVERYWHERE…on the ground, in the trees, on your car, in your hair! I’m just not even joking. They said that there were literally millions of these bugs per square mile. The noise they make is not this rather pleasant chirping like a cricket, but rather more like a constant buzz saw sound that didn’t let up at all, with no breaks day or night. The fact that that sound is multiplied millions of times within hearing distance makes it unbearably deafening!
I do have pictures and videos of these red-eyed, rather friendly bugs…but at the moment can’f find them. So, you’ll have to settle for internet pictures until I find them.
Never once did I see only one Cicada like this. If you saw one you saw 20 and all piled on top of each other. Literally, people would cover their smaller trees with netting in preparation for the invasion of the cicadas because they could destroy a small tree in one or two days!
But hey….this is not the culprit of all of our noise….at least, I don’t believe it is. The really convincing reason that I don’t think the cicada is the culprit is that they “sing” all day long and all night long!! There is no end to their noise until they die! Here are a couple of articles for your reading pleasure: Cicadas (Nati0nal Geographic) and Cicadas (Wikipedia)
So, we move on to the other potential cause for the music of the night is….(*drum roll please*) … the Katydid! I actually have seen a few of these creatures about. They do, however, mostly stay in the tree tops as they love to eat deciduous tree leaves!
They actually look like grasshoppers on steroids :). But, on closer inspection here is distinct difference. Their wings actually look like leaves, so they can really hide well in the tree tops! The thing that they can’t hide is the cricket-like noise that they make in the night.
Here is the sound that Katydids make: the songs of hundreds if not thousands of katydids overlap to produce a constant pulsating whine . Although this is the sound that I’m hearing at night…right Lisa? Most of the sites I visited said that the Katydids make this sound night and day. However, I’m only noticing it at night. Hmmmm…maybe our hot weather here in Florida is scaring them into only chirping at night :P.
Okay, well, maybe I did, maybe I didn’t solve the mystery of the “music of the night”…but I think we sure came close to finding the culprit of the noise! It is loud at night and the fact that it’s coming from the trees is just a little creepy!
If I can get my hands on the pictures of the cicadas from Virginia, I will show you! That was the most amazing thing I’ve experienced as far as the bug world goes! So cool to have been there to witness their 17-year uprising!!