An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of September 7, 2006
issued from Polly's Bend, Garrard County, in
Kentucky's Bluegrass Region, USA

FIELD CRICKET TINTINNABULATIONS

At this time of year, day and night, untold numbers of male field crickets chirp stereophonically from shadowy, dewy pockets in field grass, pastures, lawns, roadsides and even woods. In their ocean of sound you try to locate a single cricket but it's hard, for when you're close enough to discriminate one chirp from another the cricket grows silent. You wait for him to start up again but when he does he stops the moment you move forward. This way you know he's watching you -- if perceiving you through all those compound eyes and with a cricket's brain can be called "watching." You walk and walk and the chiming never diminishes. So many, so many, so many little black crickets in the dark green grass.

All those singers are males calling for females. What are we to think of a creation strung together so that for days and nights on end these little black, glisteny beings call and call just for the matter of copulation? And that their singing is so pretty?

Radiant energy erupts from the sun to flow 93 million miles through empty space and floods onto our Earth. Falling on green grass, magical chemistry powered by sunlight photosynthesizes carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrate stored in the grass. Crickets eat the grass and other green stuff, transferring the sun's energy into themselves, and now that energy powers tintinnabulations in grass, endless chiming, endless chirping, and the chiming is all for sex. Sunlight to sex and song.

Instead of visualizing it as energy flowing, you can also think of it as information, and instead of flowing from the Sun into crickets and song, it's flowing through time, from the Big Bang to now, crickets and song. The information, evolved by the Universal Creative Force over eons, is "How to Make a Field Cricket," and it's encoded in DNA that maked a trip from male cricket to female cricket, a trip in microscopic, wiggling tadpoles that instantly die if the environment of sex isn't just right and perfectly timed. What a funny thing that such important information ends up bottlenecked inside a squirmy little cricket sperm.

And so the dark green grass of fields, pastures, lawns, roadsides and even woods these days is full of shadows and song, and one just walks and walks, smiling, smiling, smiling.