Growing up in Australia, I’m very much used to the noise of Cicadas. If you’ve not seen one before, by the way, here’s the remnants of one who left its shell on my mulberry tree:
I’m relieved that the Wikipedia article says that Australian Cicadas are among the noisiest insects in the world. I’d long suspected it, but if there’s a noisier bunch of invertebrates, I really don’t want to run into them!
On a normal year in summer, they’re noisy. This year they’re just going off, and the chirping drone is intensely loud. It is, quite frankly, the sound of summer. If mid-late January/February turns out to be particularly hot, I’m blaming it on these little buggers.
At the nearby nature reserve, where Darren and I try to walk every day, at the moment just at the entrance (where the altitude or the trees are “just right”), the wall of sound that hits you as you walk through their domain exudes a physical pressure on you, it’s so intense. It has to be heard, and felt to be believed. It cancels out any chance of talking, and you feel like you’re wading through the sound.
The closest comparison I can give it is that occasionally, when exposed to really loud noise, particularly at concerts, my ears will “give up” and just start feeding a lot of static/white noise back to me. Cicadas are the only other thing that creates that distortion for me. This year they’ve been creating it a lot.
Or put it this way: I’d rather sit next to a half dozen 1RU servers with fans at full blast, then try to setup my laptop at the entrance to the reserve and work through the din of the Cicadas.