Back end

September 02, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Every night, after the sun goes down, the evening chorus begins. A few months ago, it would have included the flute sonatas of Wood Thrushes, the hoots of Barred Owls, and, if we were lucky, the endless name repetitions of Whip-poor-wills. But in late summer, the twilight birds have gone silent. The chorale, however, continues with different players, all of them insects. The main singers now are crickets and katydids, with an occasional swelling of cicada voices on the exceptionally warm nights. At least once every evening, I go outside to make a circuit of the back yard and woods to search for orthopteran crooners, who make a ratchety kind of music by rubbing together a file-and-scraper arrangement on their legs or wing covers. This Bush Katydid wasn't quite ready to "sing" for my camera and recorder. Try as I might, the insect held tight to the obscure safety of the Hydrangeas and offered me only a glimpse of its hindquarters.


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