It’s not really summer until the heat bugs sing.

I grew up calling them “heat bugs,” but they’re really cicadas, those alien-looking bug-eyed bugs that come up out of the ground every summer and leave freaky brown exoskeletons all over the place.

I also grew up calling them “sih-CAH-duhs” not “sih-CAY-duhs.”

That high buzzing drone of the heat bugs is actually a mating call. The cicada boys perch up in the tops of the trees, making clicking noises by flexing their abdominal muscles really fast.

I like the song of the heat bugs. It’s peaceful and meditative.

Unlike the summer singing of the tree frogs, which is so loud it can keep me up at night.

These are not the only distinctive sounds of summer.

Peep peep peep peep: The incessantly hungry baby birds in the nest on the back porch.

Eeeeeeeeeek!: Me spotting a snake in the yard.

Pant pant pant: The dog, all day long.

Zzzzzzzzz: The cat, all day long.

Vroom vroom: Neighbor morning the lawn at 7 a.m. on a Saturday.

Roar roar: Neighbor running a chainsaw at 7 a.m. on a Saturday.

#&*$!: Me being woken up at 7 a.m. on a Saturday.

Mmmmmmmmm: Eating a tomato sandwich.

Spittooey: Eating watermelon.

Snap … snap … snap: Shelling black-eyed peas.

Yaaaaaaaas!: Learning Chilton County peaches are finally ripe.

Grind grind grind: Making homemade ice cream.

Slurp: Having a milkshake for dinner, because it’s too hot to cook.

Slap slap slap: Bare feet on the kitchen floor.

*&#@!: Bare feet on the gravel driveway.

Whirrrrrrr: The nostalgic call of the box fan.

I’m boooooored!: Every child ever.


Grooooooan: Have you done your summer reading yet?

Whoosh: The blessed sound of the air conditioning cutting on.


Brrrrrrrr: Walking into a restaurant where the AC is set on freezing.

$*?#!: Burning myself on the steering wheel of the car after it’s been in the parking lot all day.


Peeyew: Catching a whiff of myself after being in the yard all day.

Drip drip: Wet bathing suits hung up to dry.

Splash: Imagining we have a pool.


Bzzzzzzzz: Mosquito!

Whap!: Ha! Got him!

Bzzzzzzzz: Wait, no I didn’t.

Lisa Davis is Features Editor of The Anniston Star. Contact her at 256-235-3555 or


Features Editor Lisa Davis: 256-235-3555.