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Old 07-02-11, 12:31 PM   #1
freighttraininguphill
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One of my favorite sounds to hear on a summer ride

Ever wonder what that buzzing electrical wire sound is that you hear when riding through areas with lots of trees in the summertime? It's caused by a large insect called a cicada.

Midwesterners are already familiar with these, but most people I talk to here in California don't even know what they are. Here's a short video I took while riding through William Land Park in Sacramento yesterday afternoon. It was hot, and cicadas love the heat!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrdeBTjDcYk

Here's one that a bird dropped in front of me two years ago while I was riding down the street in my neighborhood.

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Old 07-02-11, 12:39 PM   #2
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I listened to them for two straight weeks as an exchange student in rural western Japan when I was 14. I was actually happy to get back to Osaka and the city noises after that incessant screeching.
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Old 07-02-11, 12:57 PM   #3
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Some of the ones in other parts of the world are much louder than ours. I'm sure it would get old around here if they were too loud. Ours are much quieter, so it's like background noise.
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Old 07-02-11, 09:09 PM   #4
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Yes, I was just in Texas (Dallas) and they were MUCH louder.
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Old 07-02-11, 11:12 PM   #5
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I lived in Iowa for four years as a child, and they were louder there too, with an up-and-down pitch. That sound brings back fond memories of childhood.
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Old 07-03-11, 05:02 PM   #6
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We rode from Markleeville to Bear Valley and back on Thursday. The most amazing sounds I heard was the sound to water running fast and hard. Incredible amounts of snow still up on the high passes and all the streams are running like it is April. Most were over their banks. The lakes are still frozen over, so the spectacle will still be there for several weeks. Hope you all get a chance to experience it.
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Old 07-03-11, 10:02 PM   #7
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We rode from Markleeville to Bear Valley and back on Thursday. The most amazing sounds I heard was the sound to water running fast and hard. Incredible amounts of snow still up on the high passes and all the streams are running like it is April. Most were over their banks. The lakes are still frozen over, so the spectacle will still be there for several weeks. Hope you all get a chance to experience it.
I did, from a distance.
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Old 07-06-11, 02:09 PM   #8
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Haven't heard those monsters since I lived in Illinois.

I remember a massive "outbreak" of cicadas around 1989 or so in the Chicago area. The ground, trees, everything was covered with cicadas. They would land on you, get in your hair, clothes... *shudder*. And, as expected, there were those who considered them a culinary delight - people were cooking and eating the things... If it can be eaten, there is someone willing to do it.
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Old 07-06-11, 03:12 PM   #9
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Those are the 17-year cicadas. The last time that happened in Chicago was 2007, so the time before that was probably 1990. I saw a bunch of videos on YouTube of the 2007 "outbreak". I felt sorry for the dogs outside that had to endure that!

That only happens in parts of the Midwest and the South. Our cicadas are much quieter and far less numerous, and they come out every summer.
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