For now, the sun is down and I believe a full moon is rising, though I can't see it from this side of the house. But it was fairly mild again today, and I have no doubt it will be a pleasant enough night. Sadly, I'm still not hearing any crickets, and I have no idea what became of them. I Googled, but all I could find about silent crickets were one blog post from 2011 (when many places apparently lost their crickets) and a 2014 National Geographic article about crickets in Hawaii who had rapidly evolved into silence after an infestation of an insect that burrowed into chirping crickets and devoured them. Crickets that had flat wings and couldn't chirp survived and displaced the chirping cricket population, apparently permanently.
I'd hate to think that something of that sort had befallen my crickets. The thought of never hearing crickets again is appalling. For me, they are an essential part of summer, and summer is bad enough with them. Without them it would be much worse. But I do think that if such an infestation were now taking place in California there would surely be something about it on the Internets, and as I've found nothing I must conclude, at least for now, that this is some sort of local phenomenon. Unless, of course, this is just the beginning of such an infestation and consequent rapid evolution, and it hasn't reached enough parts of the state to have attracted the attention of the entomologists. I'll keep an eye out for news about it.
Anyway. After watering in the cool of the evening the house feels warmer than it did before. I'm going to turn the fan on and spend more time outside while it cools off in here. This is probably folly, as it will cool off outside faster than it does inside, and when I return indoors the differential will be even greater, but I'm tired of sitting here listening to the computer fan humming. It is no substitute for crickets. Maybe if I go out and strain my ears really hard I'll hear one chirping in the distance. Hope springs eternal.