My wife and I heard it this weekend when we were having some coffee on our deck. And if you've heard that it too, here's what's creating that late-summer buzz here in southeast Minnesota.


If you've heard that distinctive buzz this past weekend, too, you're not alone. While we were all enjoying that weird, smoky sunset (thanks to the smoke in our atmosphere from those Canadian wildfires), my wife and also noticed a loud buzzing noise. It almost sounded like the buzz some high-voltage power lines make-- except power lines in our neighborhood are buried underground, so that couldn't be it.

So what is it? It's actually the buzz coming from... cicadas! And, according to the Minnesota DNR, it's a sure sign summer is coming to an end. Cicadas make that buzzing noise as a mating call. But, because as insects, they're cold-blooded, they only do it on warm mornings (like we had this past weekend) or later in the day when it heats up. This story describes their distinctive buzz as a "high-pitched, whining sound that lasts about a minute and resembles the sound of a distant buzz saw."

Cicadas, which live in the tree canopy across Minnesota, the DNR says, usually appear in mid to late July and are prevalent through August and early September. This year, though, thanks to our late spring, their distinctive buzzing sound didn't make an appearance (at least in the woods in back of our house) until this past weekend.

Of course, there are two notable other insects across the Land of 10,000 Lakes that makes distinctive sounds and noises as well. The DNR says if you're outside this time of year in Minnesota, you'll probably also hear the sound made by crickets and katydids, as well-- especially later in the afternoon and evening.

Listen to Curt St. John from 6 to 10 a.m. on Quick Country 96.5
and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on 103.9 The Doc


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