Crickets in Vermont

photo5While admiring the view and the peace and quiet of southwest Vermont I began to hear crickets.   I remembered learning that you can tell the temperature by counting the cricket chirps in a 15 second interval and add 37.  You will get an approximate temperature in Fahrenheit. I decided to do an experiment and test it out.  I counted the chirps. I got 34 chirps, and then added 37, which gave me 71 degrees.   The temperature on the thermometer said 70, so I was very close.  I redid the experiment three times (like every good scientist should) and found my chirp and temperature experiment to be quite accurate. In most cases it is the male that is doing the singing.  The male cricket rubs a sharp ridge on its wing against a series of files (think wrinkles) on its other wing.  The male cricket may be calling to attract a female or trying to ward off other males. Crickets are part of the family Orthoptera (grasshoppers and katydids). These insects are known for their jumping skills but many are accomplished singers as well.