Sunny, warm, and quiet except for the distant wail of a locomotive, a phoebe calling at the woods’ edge, a cricket, the rustling of leaves.
In the half-light of dawn, white snakeroot glowing in the meadow, the unending shhhhh of tree crickets, clatter of a squirrel venturing out.
Back from London, my ears are still adjusting to the country. The unending insect thrum seems to come from some city hidden in the grass.
We don’t hear much from the highway these days. What I hear: Canada geese off to the north, a train whistle, two kinds of crickets.
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A field cricket chirps and falls silent, but the tree crickets never stop trilling. A small, purple tuft lit up by the sun: Canada thistle.
Cloudless and cool. The only cricket sound is a low murmur. From up in the woods, the distant crashing of deer running through the laurel.
Overcast. The softly glowing reds and yellows, the hum of crickets, even the normally annoying call of a towhee all inspire nostalgia.
Even on such a cold morning, a faint hush of crickets. A cicada starts up: less a whine than a loud whisper. The slow chant of a vireo.
The storm just past, a bald-faced hornet flies back and forth over the flattened stiltgrass. The crickets pick up where they left off.
A honeybee conducts a slow inspection of the porch railing, including my boots. I’m pondering the secret cousinship of wrens and crickets.
Another cool morning. Autumn’s in the air, I say to myself, but it’s really just a cricket chirping in the corner of the garden.
At 8:47, the sun puts in its first appearance. The cricket in my garden—the only weather forecast I follow—doesn’t miss a beat.
At 42 degrees Fahrenheit, only one cricket calls from the vicinity of the springhouse, a low, hollow creaking like a prolonged death rattle.
Orion gets one leg above the trees before fading into the dawn. Inside, I rescue the cricket from a spider, put him out for the fourth time.
As the plane fades in the distance, they return: a towhee, two lethargic vireos, a chipmunk’s water-drip-steady clucks, the garden cricket.