Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Summer Rain

Summer rain sets off the creatures of the night, particularly if it rains before dusk.

City folk may think of "creatures" as lions, and tigers, and bears, and skunk apes, and Jersey devils, and such, but "creatures" are actually fireflies, summer cicadas, and katydids...And the things that eat them.

Sometime each July, the first katydid makes a crackling ribit around full dark. Moments later there are two, and then the night goes off in a katydid throb, with what must be a few trillion of the things chatting each other up in nature's singles bar.

A few years ago, I hired a couple of young lengineers from Washington state and brought them in to Tennessee as foreigners. They adjusted well except for the humidity and the bugs. "Those things are giants," Dan would complain. "Scary."

"It's a cricket."

"It's a beast!" would be the reply. "And all green and loud and everything...And there's millions of them."

"Not millions, Dan, Trillions." I would say to comfort him.

Me? I love katydid nights. I like to awaken and listen to them for a few minutes, as the night goes by, before I fall back into snoozeville. I'm one of those people who doesn't sleep through the night, ever. Night is just a series of naps for me, and I sort of like it that way. There's katydids.

As summer progresses, silence ends. If you stop and listen, there will always be something talking. This is the way it is in a healthy world. Some things croak, some chirp, some buzz, and some flash lights at each other. It's all about love and territory for the creatures.



Thanks to Hilton Pond for the photo. More info on Katydids and what they really are can be found there.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:59 AM

    Hi Steve,
    Don't forget Katydid Mornings, as well as Katydid Nights.I am one of the few people left who hang out clothes on a line ( when I can)...and there's just something about that somnolent sound of the katydids, and the buzzing of other critters, and the nice smell and feel of wet sheets and towels, that just transcends one's daily worries and stresses.And then, sittin' on the deck with a glass of an adult beverage, listening to the nighttime katydids, crickets, owls etc., and watching my little bat friends just doesn't get much better than that!

    Peace back atcha.