Jar Flies play the soundtrack to late summer in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Since I grew up hearing their raspy sound, most of the time the noise doesn’t even register with me, but I’ve heard other folks say the sound is bothersome to them.
Even though jar flies have provided the music for every late summer I’ve ever experienced, I’ve rarely seen one. Most of the ones I’ve seen have been dead or I probably wouldn’t have even seen them. The photo in this post was sent to me by Don Casada who just happen to catch a jar fly emerging from its dry husk.
Jar flies play a large role in writings (fiction and non-fiction) set in Appalachia and in the south in general. Discussing their unique sound helps writers set the scene. See the quote below:
1996 Parton Mountain Memories:
“The faint sound of a barking dog, a mooing cow, or the loud “eeee-ar-eeee-ar” of a jar fly vied for the attention of the congregation.”
Want to hear a jar fly for yourself?
As luck would have it every time I tried to capture a clear sound of the jar flies in my yard someone start a weedeater up down the hill, the rooster would start crowing, or The Deer Hunter would crank his truck-like he did in the recording I did use.
This page shares the sounds of cicadas from all across the country and beyond. If you’d like to hear a clearer louder version you can visit it.
If you’d like to read scientific facts about jar flies (cicadas) in NC go here. The information is pretty interesting, but I’d rather think on how jar flies color the pictures of summer that I carry around in my head.
Are there jar flies where you live?
This post was originally published here on the Blind Pig and The Acorn in September of 2014