"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
[This book] can be enjoyed by anyone with even a passing interest in crickets and their repertoires. Dethier's writing is beautiful, almost poetic.
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.
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.