Back in the day (2000-2004) when we used to periodically visit the property during the summer months trying to figure out what the heck we were going to do with it and how we were going to afford whatever we planned to do (this dream came true, even though by the skin of our teeth), we used to hear this crazy loud buzzing noise in the chaparral, which we assumed was the warning rattles of rattlesnakes. We held on to this erroneous belief for years thereafter until, one day (about 3 years ago), I saw a bug that looked like a very large "bee-fly" on the butterfly bush outside the front portico emitting that exact, unmistakable, cacophonous sound. But of course! It was a cicada! It was somewhat of a deja vu for me because I grew up listening to the deafening chorus of cicadas in the mornings and late afternoons during the summer months in Taiwan. Upon further research, I found out that the famous (or infamous) periodical cicadas, which emerge as adults from their nymph stage in large swarms every 13-17 years, are denizens of the Eastern U.S., and the species we have here in SoCal and other parts of the West are annual ("dog-day") cicadas, appearing every summer, with a life span of about 2-3 years. I couldn't really ID this guy who was initially on the deck in the back patio and then suddenly keeled over shortly after I took the first couple shots...yikes! After some research, I want to say it's in the genus Platypedia, but if anyone knows better, please let me know!
6/18/14 Cicada (Platypedia species?) on the back deck.
6/18/14 Unbeknownst to me, on his last legs.
6/18/14 Oh no! RIP, dude! Hope it wasn't me!