“It is in the wild in the seventh month,

Under the eaves in the eighth month,
In the house in the ninth month,
and under my bed in the tenth month.”   *  ^

Some anonymous soul composed this verse over 2500 years ago in China.

Today one might witness a similar pattern repeating itself here on Little Crum Creek.

Summer’s chirping symphonies of the grass have gradually dwindled to autumn’s solitary calls.

And a field cricket suddenly sounds from a darkened corner of the house.

Only a male field cricket chirps, rubbing his wings to attract a mate.

The female is distinguished by a long, menacing-looking appendage jutting from her back end.

Actually harmless, this ovipositor inserts fertilized eggs in the soil after a successful coupling.

Those eggs overwinter, hatching a new generation of field crickets in the spring.

But the parents won’t survive to see them.

So why begrudge a male’s last call in the house or, seen from the corner of my eye somewhere down on the floor, a mother’s final crawl?

The silence and stillness of winter comes soon enough.