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Arts & Culture

Paying Tribute to Summer with the Night-Singing Insects

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Kids head out the door to catch the school bus as the crispness of the early morning air begins to linger and that familiar wistful feeling sets in. The replacement of sticky, sun-drenched days and warm, song-filled nights marks the unofficial start of fall. It’s not just that the days are getting shorter and the colors are changing, or that the temperature is cooler and the air drier. With autumn comes the conclusion of the songs of summer — the chorus of night-singing insects. 

We’re paying tribute to summer with a symphony of crickets and katydids. Their nightly concerts, featuring a full ensemble complete with solos and perfect harmonies, will soon come to an end. Today we honor those sounds with naturalist, author, and illustrator John Himmelman.

Hear more of John Himmelman's insect recordings.

For a little more cricket appreciation, a poem by Doug Logan:


The sweet last listening
in the final yellow summer light,
with crickets, the same, the same —
the sound surrounding long ago,
so close so many years ago,
when you were awake and wondering…
where will it lead, where will I be…

The rippling trill of years away, 
the life ahead, the same trill,
the same night with its soft 
and yellow-scented air.

A little latter we talk with Tom Yorton of The Second City theater company about how they’ve been using comedy and improvisation training to help corporations become more innovative and creative.

Join the conversation on Twitter or Facebook.


  • John Himmelman – author of more than 75 books including Guide to Night-Singing Insects of the Northeast
  • Tom Yorton – co-author, Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses "No, But" Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration


  • "Gne Gne," Montefiori Cocktail
  • “Two-Spotted Tree Cricket,” courtesy of John Himmelman
  • "American Baby," Dave Matthews Band

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