“At night a cynic,
he lies inert in his grass house,
songs folded and hung up.
Furled like a leaf,
his folio preserves
the records of the world.”
~Jorge Carrera Andrade (Ecuador) “Life of the Cricket”
The crickets have been driving me crazy. I don’t mind the all-night chorus as long as they’re singing in the yard, but the last few days I’ve found them in the house. I trapped one under a plastic glass on the kitchen floor the other morning around four a.m. Following the music, I slipped through the dark, turned the light on at the last second, and took aim. He spent the rest of the night in a pink plastic jail but was released at daybreak to sing again.
This is what I know about crickets:
1) Only the males can sing and they do so primarily to attract a female, but they also chirp to defend their territories. (I don’t need crickets either mating or setting up housekeeping in my kitchen.)
2) Their song can go on and on with nary a breath taken because they chirp by rubbing their wings together.
3) Mole crickets dig tunnels in the ground with megaphone-shaped entrances to magnify the sound.
4) In China a cricket singing in the house is good luck. (I wonder if tossing a cricket out of the house is bad luck?)
It’s that time of year. The hummers are packing up for the long trip south; the butterflies are getting fewer in number as the butterfly bush loses its last blossoms; and Fuzzy the squirrel comes to the front door several times a day now for nuts to bury all over the yard and in every flower pot. The crickets are looking for opportunities to come indoors out of the cold. The one good thing about all this “music” is that a chirping cricket is easy to locate. But they’re not always easy to catch. I must admit that several subsequent middle-of-the-night cricket hunts were unsuccessful.
Any signs of autumn from the critters in your yard?