Sounds of a Kansas Summer, by Jeff Baker. September 8, 2021.

Photo by Michael Kropiewnicki on

Sound of a Kansas Summer

by Jeff Baker

They are the background noise to the crickets, the fireworks and the other sounds of summer. The loud, whirring almost metallic noise is familiar to nearly every Kansan, but the details might not be as well known. The sound is from cicadas, emerging from their pre-timed slumber to mate, then die. These are not the famous 17-year variety, instead these insects emerge every two to five years, with enough showing up every year to be regular visitors.

The Annual Cicadas, as they are called, do not last long. By early summer their carcasses can be found on driveways, streets and yards, their mating hopefully done, their life and purpose spent. As the Summer moves on, their numbers diminish and their song fades.

Time is short the cicadas seem to say. The Summer will soon fade, the year is drawing to a close.

Their song is a sign that Fall will soon be here, and then the silence of Winter.


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