May 13th, 2005



The crickets make the slow chirps of spring, and they are still few in number, so it is possible to pick out each individual insect by its distinctive voice. I can identify four. One chirps in the tall grass of the vacant house next door, another is across the street, the third is in the neighbor's shrubbery just over the fence, and the last and loudest is in the sourgrass by my front porch. Although the air has cooled since balmy evening, the crickets have sung all night, falling silent only when they have been disturbed by the sound of my footsteps. The waxing moon set early, and the starlit hours passed serenely to the intricate rhythms of these soft chirps and the occasional call of a night bird. Now the stars fade as the trees emerge from the darkness, and the crickets fall silent, one by one, until there is a moment of stillness, as though the world has caught its breath at the cerulean wonder of the sky, and then the growing light wakes the first morning bird. The soft chorus of crickets is replaced by the varied avian chirps, squawks, chuckles and screeches which announce impending dawn. I hope the crickets conceal themselves well from the waking, hungry birds. I look forward to hearing them sing again tonight.


This evening, the trees repose in windless air, their leaves unmoved except when a bird alights to set some twig momentarily bobbing. I watched the blue afternoon sky breed chevrons of cirrus clouds, which gradually puffed and thickened and spread to every horizon. Now dusk arrives with no hint of sunset, but only this mottled ceiling of slate shot with silver light. Bees have ceased to buzz, and the green landscape darkens. The day's heat will be trapped. There will be a foretaste of summer sultriness. The crickets will sing faster songs tonight.