Crickets and Katydids, Concerts and Solos

Overview

"Vincent Dethier shows us how to listen for sound in fields, edges, and woods and to become aware of the movements that accompany sound...We learn from his sounds what kind of person, capable of this kind of interest and care, is attending to our minds. His own sound becomes part of the community of sound common to most, if not nearly all, life, so we are doubly trained to hear, and we become doubly committed to understanding and caring for all forms of life." --A. R. Ammons, from the foreword
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Overview

"Vincent Dethier shows us how to listen for sound in fields, edges, and woods and to become aware of the movements that accompany sound...We learn from his sounds what kind of person, capable of this kind of interest and care, is attending to our minds. His own sound becomes part of the community of sound common to most, if not nearly all, life, so we are doubly trained to hear, and we become doubly committed to understanding and caring for all forms of life." --A. R. Ammons, from the foreword
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Editorial Reviews

Smithsonian Magazine
Richly written, elegantly organized, and beautifully illustrated with Abigail Rorer's graceful line drawings, this charming reminiscence succeeds on every level. It illuminates the habits of New England's 40 or so orthopteran insects and teaches us to appreciate their adaptations and variation. It reminds us to attend to the world around us; to listen to its jubilant songs, breathe in the 'winey evanescence' of fallen apples and savor the caress of cool air flowing from the fringes of a shady hardwood forest. It recalls the pleasures of being young, of finding new facts and seeing new patterns in the mosaic of nature, and captures the ineffable sensations of a fine New England summer.
New Scientist
[This book] can be enjoyed by anyone with even a passing interest in crickets and their repertoires. Dethier's writing is beautiful, almost poetic.
Ecology
This book is the product of Vincent Dethier's experiences studying the natural history and singing behavior of crickets and katydids. The book chronicles the emergence of orthopteran species over the summer season and their contributions to the chorus in fields and woods. The details of these insects' lives are fascinating, but I was even more impressed with the true theme of the book: the making of a scientist...This is a beautifully written natural history book.
Library Journal
Known for his ability to present complex scientific information clearly and entertainingly, Dethier introduces crickets, katydids, and grasshoppers (locusts), whose sounds, though familiar, are largely ignored by all but specialists. He writes of his experiences in the late 1930s, when as a graduate student he served as field assistant to the late George W. Pierce, famous for his work on insect sound production and detection. Dethier takes us on an informative and entertaining summer's tour of insects in the Franklin, New Hampshire area and acquaints us with their habits and songs. Not intended as an exhaustive treatment or field guide, his book does list important references of the past century and gives keys to species and their songs. Rorer's charming black-and-white drawings adorn the text. Admirers of Dethier's previous works, e.g., To Know a Fly (1962), will welcome his latest effort.-- Annette Aiello, Smithsonian Tropical Research Inst., Panama
Booknews
A companion to G. W. Pierce's 1948 classic Songs of insects, introduces amateur naturalists to some of the common singing crickets, locusts, and grasshoppers of the northeastern United States. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674331631
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2013
  • Pages: 156
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Prelude 1
The Field Crickets 9
The Spring Sulphur-Winged Locust 16
A Confusion of Ground Crickets 22
Climate in the Least Space 30
The Sphagnum Cricket 37
Shuffling, Rustling, Crackling 44
Meadow Grasshoppers 55
Mount Washington Interlude 64
The Salt Marshes of Cape Cod 72
A Counterpoint of Scrapes and Squawks 83
The Rare One 92
The Shield Bearers 100
Deja Entendu 109
Reprise 117
App. Species Studied at the Franklin Laboratory 125
App. Seasonal Distribution of Adult Singing Orthoptera in Franklin, New Hampshire 127
App. Key for Identifying Species Studied 128
App. Phonetic Key to Songs of Crickets, Locusts, and Meadow Grasshoppers 135
App. Katydid and Shield-Bearer Songs 138
App. References 139
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