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6 amazing things city dwellers miss out on

A cicada perched on a branch

Photo: tlindenbaum/Flickr

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Sounds of nature

During the summer months, suburbanites often hear these singing insects before they see them. With their spirited acoustics, cicadas are hard to miss.

The inch-long bug's distinctive buzzing, humming and clicking are produced by males at astounding volumes. (Some of the loudest cicada songs reach 120 decibels, which translates to a pretty loud mating, courting or distress call.)

Seemingly pervasive in some climates, a cicada's adult life is brief. Juveniles, or nymphs, live underground most of their lives and emerge for two to six weeks in the heat of the summer.

But they don’t tread lightly. Tens of thousands have been known to blanket an acre of land in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia. Though there are thousands of species, the most common species emerge every 13 or 17 years. So if you missed the great cicada concerts of 2004, get ready for 2011.