Nocturnal symphony: Insects' hypnotic song rises to annual crescendo | al.com


Nocturnal symphony: Insects' hypnotic song rises to annual crescendo | al.com: It happens every year about this time: a change in the quality of light, a premonitory shiver of wind that flutters the trees' green leaves. It seems to prompt, on these late summer evenings, the nightly symphony of insect song to rise to its crescendo.
They know their days are numbered.

Their enchanting songs create a sonic landscape as reassuring, as natural and necessary as rain or wind. As familiar as kudzu and pine trees.

You rarely see them, except for the cicadas, which seem to go mad this time of year, coming out in daylight, crashing around unbalanced, as if their own singing has finally driven them mad.

Every year in late spring as they start again, I resolve to spend as many evenings as possible just sitting and listening as the evening song swells around me. But summer is never as lazy as it promises, and most nights I'm still doing dishes in the denatured sonic envelope of air-conditioning, well into darkness past the bugs' prime time.

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