Enter your number to get our mobile branded app

My wife and I heard it last weekend when we were having some coffee on our deck and I heard it again when I was mowing what's left of our lawn. (Yeah, it's getting a little brown this year.) It's a sure sound of late summer here in southeast Minnesota.

If you've heard that distinctive buzz this past weekend, too, you're not alone. My wife and I noticed it while were outside enjoying that incredible weather (and lower dew points) last weekend. It's a distinctive loud buzzing noise, that almost sounded like the buzz made by some of those high-voltage power lines. Power lines in our neighborhood, though, are buried underground, so that couldn't be it.

So what is it? It's actually the buzz coming from... cicadas. And, according to the Minnesota DNR, it's a sure sign summer is coming to an end. Cicadas make that buzzing noise as a mating call. But, because as insects, they're cold-blooded, they only do it on warm mornings or later in the day when it heats up. This story describes their distinctive buzz as a "high-pitched, whining sound that lasts about a minute and resembles the sound of a distant buzz saw."

Cicadas, which live in the tree canopy across Minnesotathe DNR says, usually appear in mid to late July and are prevalent through August and early September. This year, though, given our continued hot weather and lack of precipitation, the cicadas-- and their distinctive buzzing sound-- actually made an appearance (at least in the woods behind our house) during the last few days of July. Which is apparently early according to by Minnesota cicada standards.

Now, there are two other familiar insects across the Land of 10,000 Lakes that make distinctive sounds and noises as well. The DNR says if you're outside this time of year in Minnesota, you'll probably also hear the sound made by crickets and katydids, as well-- especially later in the afternoon and evening. (And I've heard both already heard in our backyard as well.)

Now, to hear that buzzing of cicadas or the chirping of crickets in Minnesota, it helps if you're out in the country, or at least not right downtown here in Rochester or another city. Luckily, Minnesota has some fairly small towns where you can pretty much ONLY hear cicadas buzzing and crickets chirping. Keep scrolling to check out the 25 Smallest Towns in Minnesota!

Listen to Curt St. John from 6 to 10 a.m. on Quick Country 96.5
and from 2 to 6 p.m. on 103.9 The Doc

Minnesota's 25 Smallest Towns According to the 2020 Census

According to the 2020 census, the smallest town in Minnesota has a population of 507 people. Check out the 25 smallest towns in Minnesota according to our latest census.