REAL AUSTRALIA

Voice of Real Australia: 'Huh?' I can't hear you over the sound of summer

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A Masked Devil, photographed at Wentworth Falls in the NSW BLue Mountains.

A Masked Devil, photographed at Wentworth Falls in the NSW BLue Mountains.

As odd as it sounds, there's a distinct sensory overload in Australia that lets you know summer is just around the corner.

Whether or not those sensory signs seems to arrive earlier every year is open to conjecture, as perhaps it's as simple as environmental awareness heightening as you "mature".

Either way, as a coastal dweller, you grow more familiar with the afternoon breeze carrying the seaspray and the evening warmth after daylight saving begins.

Over the past week, our noisy neighbours have arrived: cicadas.

And they're loud. Already. Christmas loud. The kind of loud that has you wondering who turned what off when you head inside for the night.

In the NSW Blue Mountains there's talk of plague proportions of the critters causing all manner of disturbance.

Professor David Emery, chair of Livestock Immunology at Sydney University's School of Veterinary Science, explained that cicadas are "opportunists".

"If the conditions are just right out they all come," Dr Emery said. Their preferred temperature is 18 degrees.

Here's a not-so fun fact about cicadas: The "cicada song" is produced by the male flexing his tymbal, membranes in its mostly hollow abdomen, Dr Emery explained.

"They make a big song, try and get a mate and then die, it's pretty abrupt."

We know we're in for a very different summer and Christmas but maybe there are some things that will remain familiar. Whether that's a boring constant or an endearing tradition is up to you.

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