Some people take violin lessons for years, perfecting runs, slides, and fingering. Other people pay big money to see violinists in concert. But you can enjoy a free outdoor concert by listening to nature’s foremost violinist—the cricket.
These intriguing creatures’ wings vibrate 5,000 times per second, creating sound waves that humans hear as chirps. Scientists have analyzed recordings of cricket songs and discovered that the notes are one octave above piano range. They are actually a series of slurs like those produced by an expert violinist.
You can hear cricket songs up to a mile away. But the little beasts fall silent when anyone gets too near. In Japan and other Asian countries people keep crickets in tiny cages to act as burglar alarms. They are living motion detectors that stop chirping when a prowler approaches.
Crickets’ ears are on their knees. A small swelling on each front leg has a membrane that catches sound as a human ear-drum does. They can leap one hundred times the length of their bodies. That’s like a person six feet in height jumping the length of two football fields in a single bound.
Crickets are one of God’s most inoffensive creatures. They don’t sting or bite and aren’t poisonous. They eat anything, including paper and clothing, but are so small they do very little damage. Since they also eat fly larvae, they are good to have around.
The next time you’re out in your yard on a late summer evening, take time to listen to God’s violinists. Enjoy the soothing sound before winter wraps the landscape in silence.