For those Shoalhaven residents living within earshot of native bush, there’s been a lot more than fireworks ringing in the new year.
Since well before Christmas, cicadas have been shrieking in massive numbers, with certain trees coated black with them.
For some residents of North Nowra, Cambewarra and Tapitalee, this has made outdoor meals impossible as humans retreat inside to escape the incessant din.
When they do quieten down enough for children to venture outside, there’s always the ever popular pastime of collecting their discarded shells.
The Green family of North Nowra told us before the holidays that walking the kids to school on hot mornings had become an ear-splitting experience.
Mum Erin said although they are noisy, she likes them.
“I think they’re cute. It’s pretty deafening here, but it doesn’t really bother me. It reminds me of summer.”
Sons Deklan and Rixon are enjoying gathering their shells, with Deklan saying he liked all their different colours.
“I’ve found greengrocers, a tiger one, a blue moon and a black one. I also like picking them up and holding them,” he said.
Rixon claims that recently he saw “a million of them up in a tree”.
“I like to put them on my shirt,” he said.
It’s been a bumper crop for our noisy summer companions, with reports that some National Parks outdoor workers have resorted to wearing ear plugs.