Stormy Night of the Katydids

As night was falling, a rumbling thunderstorm moved in from the west. Common True Katydids were calling raucously from the oak woods in back of my house with temperatures in the low 80s. The interplay of the storm and the katydids was a delight to my ears. Featured here is a portion of that recording. Listening with headphones will put you right in … [Read more...]

The Scuds are Singing!

It's mid-July and the scuds are singing, and I don't mean scud missiles. I mean katydids of the genus Scudderia, named after Samuel Hubbard Scudder (1837-1911), an early American entomologist. In nearby Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area, I'm now hearing the songs of two species: the Broad-winged Bush Katydid (Scudderia pistillata) and the … [Read more...]

The Fairy Bell Ringer

In her book, "A Sense of Wonder," Rachel Carson pens the following engrossing narrative while describing nocturnal forays in search of singing insects with her adopted son Roger: Most haunting of all is one I call the fairy bell ringer. I have never found him. I’m not sure I want to. His voice — and surely he himself — are so ethereal, so … [Read more...]

Japanese Burrowing Cricket

Folks have recently been writing and commenting after lectures about a rapid field cricket song they are hearing. Most of these reports are from urban areas and a few from suburbia. During a recent singing insect workshop in southern Ohio we caught one of these gorgeous singers in the act — a Japanese Burrowing Cricket (Velarifictorus micado). They … [Read more...]

Kentucky Cricket Chorus

During a visit to Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky in early October of 2009, I was impressed by the rich and varied insect chorus. Crickets and katydids dominated the nighttime soundscape and I worked hard to find a nice combination of singing crickets, free of the incessant harsh rattles of true katydids. It was a cool night, around 55 degrees … [Read more...]

Trap Pond Revisited

Hello everyone. I'm fresh back from a week-long silent retreat at nearby Light On The Hill. The retreat was led by my good friends Jeff Collins and Gisela Konrad. It was a challenge, involving difficult "heart-centered" work, but I left the retreat refreshed and full of enthusiasm about the coming year. My New Year's resolution is: to post … [Read more...]

Trap Pond Soundscape

Hello everyone. I'm back with a new emphasis: Soundscape Recordings. I intend to launch a new series of nature soundscape audio titles within the next few months. Call them CDs if you like, but the primary mode of distribution will be through digital downloads from iTunes, amazonmp3, and similar outlets. I intend to use this blog to discuss … [Read more...]

April Shuffler – A Coneheaded Katydid Surprise

The spring insect chorus here at Land Between the Lakes is richer than I expected. Last night when I returned to my camp at dusk and prepared to retire after a long and busy day, I became aware of a very high-pitched "shuffling trill," not pretty like that of a trilling cricket, but non-musical like the shuffles and scrapes of various … [Read more...]

Spring Field Cricket – The April Chirper

I arrived at Land Between the Lakes late in the afternoon of April 18. As dusk approached, I noticed it was almost dead quiet. No birds were singing, no frogs were calling, and I heard not a howl or yip or chatter from anything furry. But there was one sound that stood out: the incessant soft chirps of crickets, calling from under the leaves along … [Read more...]

Long-spurred Stridulations

One of my favorite things to do, in late summer and fall, is listening to the songs of insects. Getting close enough to watch a katydid actually singing can be quite exciting. This video vignette of a Long-spurred Meadow Katydid gets right in there, up close. Being able to watch him sing is a great way to learn about stridulation. In crickets … [Read more...]