May 15th, 2008


Sweat to the really old oldies

There's a moth outside trying to dash its brains out against my window, Another moth has gotten indoors and keeps spying on my Websurfing behavior. That moth knows how much time I've spent at YouTube this evening. I may have to kill it.

The crickets, on the other hand, are minding their own business. Crickets are not meddlesome insects, though their all-night festivities have lead some people to believe them shameless libertines. It's true the loud chirping is an invitation from the males to the females to mate. The soft chirping which follows (once the male "gets lucky," as the crickets call it) is the sound they make during actual copulation.

But there's something else shocking about crickets. The singing of the males can attract not only females of its own species, but parasitic flies who burrow into any cricket they find and lay eggs, munching on the host's innards, bursting out after a week or so to leave the cricket dead but still tasty to the larvae of the parasite. So, in a sense, crickets not only have sex with one another but are involved in the sexual activities of another species altogether. It's like an insect version of Alein!

Whatever the causes or consequences, I am enjoying the cricket chorus tonight, and pleased that they are so busy looking to get laid that they have no time to go snooping all over my monitor like this pesky moth. Nor are they trying to drink my blood, as are the mosquitoes. Today we began what can only be described as a heat wave, and the mosquitoes must be loving it. I'm quite sure that if I go out I will be drained of all blood within fifteen minutes. No blame to the crickets. The horny little buggers are as harmless as an insect can be.

Now, as compensation for the arrival of the hot weather, a YouTube discovery of delightful tropicality. Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona headed for a while a band called the Lecuona Cuban Boys, and in 1934 they recorded this captivating bit of exotica called Rumba Azul. Again, even in this heat, happy feets are possible!