I’ve been walking around for days with an eerie, other-world hum in my head. The gentleman next door said it sounds like someone at a distance set off an alarm and he was wondering why they couldn’t get it turned off. Others have said it sounds like something from outer space. I’m not sure what their frame of reference is. It’s difficult to describe. It’s too high-pitched to be called a droning sound. It’s not so high-pitched that it makes dogs bark in pain. It’s constant from daylight to dark.
After a couple of days of this ubiquitous sound, I asked my daughter if she knew what it was. Her instant response: “The thirteen-year cicada!” (I don’t know how she knows these things, but she does.) I am relieved to have a name for this puzzling phenomenon. My next question, “How much longer?” didn’t get a very satisfactory response. “Maybe another two weeks.” I understand they’re harmless. Once they’ve mated, they’ll go back underground. I read an article in The Christian Science Monitor that said they stay underground for 17 years in the north. Lucky northerners.