During our first two weeks here, we have had the experience of walking down this beautiful green path to the subway and not being able to hear eachother talk. Why? CICADAS!
Cicadas are large bugs, about 1 -2 inches long, that feed on tree sap. They "sing" (as bug people like to say) at some freekishly high decibel, to the point that you cannot hear anything around you. Remember the days of those horns at the World Cup that sounded like bees were overtaking the earth (to everyone but the South Africans), well, I can imagine how they felt.
I have been told, and will confirm later, that they only last a few weeks in the summer and they all die and fall to the ground.
The good news...yes, there is some...they don't bother humans at all! In fact, I am sure they don't know we exist. So, while their "singing" can sometimes tune out my headphones, I am thankful they prefer tree sap over my sweet human blood.
Here is a video of me walking yesterday to give you a feel for their "singing." No, that is not rushing water. You can actually hear the sounding lowering over time and can maybe pick up the faint sound of a bird in the background.
Can you tell I am not a big fan of bugs?!