Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday rerun: Chirpy Chirpy Cheap Cheap

It's funny how every time some tv or movie director wants to give us the ambiance of a quiet evening out under the stars, they always dub in the sound of crickets.  I don't know about the crickets who inhabit your neighborhood, but here around the Lazy 'C' Ranch, we don't hear them outside until mid-July, the earliest.  And even then, they stay pretty quiet until after dinner, unlike the chattering birds who start howling every day just before 5 in the yawning.

And tell me, how many nights have you lain awake, wondering why people like me fret about the correct past participle of "lie" just how doggone hot it is outside?  So, you get up; it's 3:22 AM, since you were going to get up soon anyhow, and you get about two feet across the bedroom floor when you find that thumbtack you dropped the other day.  Bare feet are the best thumbtack-finders you'll ever need. Hopping like a person with a thumbtack sticking out of their foot, you get down to the kitchen, to check the thermometer.  But by this time, you don't really even care that much what the temperature is outside.

Friends, there is an easier way. Just count the chirp of a cricket for 14 seconds - and you've got your watch right on your wrist! - and then add 40! So, if you count 30 clicks in those 14 seconds, the temperature outside is 70°! What could be easier?  That's for Fahrenheit.  The formula for telling the current Celsius temp is somewhat more confusing, which could not be more appropriate.

Buddy Holly & The Crickets
This is all explained scientifically somewhere, buthere's a link to the Old Farmer's Almanac - so popular with all of us old farmers - that will let you listen to crickets chirping.   We don't know why crickets chirp more frequently as the temperature rises, but don't worry.  Crickets don't know why we can't rub our legs together and make a noise, unless we're wearing corduroy pants.

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