Something Wild: Crickets Herald the Autumn

Something Wild fan, Michael Carrier, wrote in recently, he said “If possible could you do a program about identifying some of the more common sounds you hear at dusk or night in New Hampshire.” Yeah, we can do that. So a typical evening scene in Anytown, New Hampshire is a symphony of sound. A screen door slams in the distance…a jake brake startles the neighbor’s dog…the weekend warrior fires up her motorcycle… But as the evening settles in and human sounds fade away we can better hear the natural world. But even the rustling of our deciduous trees, barred owls, coyotes trying to locate their pack, a whippoorwill trying to locate a mate, and a red fox is staking out his territory tend to drown out a more subtle instrument in the orchestra. If ever there was a sound that signifies August, it’s the quiet song of the crickets. Nathaniel Hawthorne described it as “audible stillness,” writing, “if moonlight could be heard, it would sound just like that.” That especially appropriate because

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