Nature’s nightly concert never disappoints

Published 6:45 am Wednesday, August 9, 2023

By Bonnie Brown

Have you walked outside after dark lately and just listened to the cacophony of nature’s sounds? I suppose it’s mostly crickets, but the sounds are almost deafening.

It’s amazing to me that if you go outside in the early morning, the only sounds you will hear are the garbage truck emptying the dumpsters at a nearby business (with a great bit of banging), a bit of traffic, the hum of air conditioners, and perhaps sprinklers running. And some bird songs too. Did you know that there is controversy as to whether they add bird chirping sounds to the televised Masters Golf

Email newsletter signup

But the nighttime sounds are loud. These singing insects are cicadas, crickets, grasshoppers and katydids, the males of which produce loud calls in their search for a female mate, according to the University of Florida.

The sounds produced by these insects may just sound like a loud racket to us, but each is unique to its species. Yes, each insect has its own sound and rhythm, but it all adds up to a loud performance. Add in some croaking frogs and you have quite a concert. And all this noise just to attract a mate.

I walk outside with our little dog Carly at night before bedtime, and we listen to all the sounds. I asked Carly (yes, I talk to our dog) what she makes of all the racket. She looked at me as if to say she didn’t know and she didn’t care. She’s like that at times – very opinionated. But I told her it’s a bit of a phenomenon that the daytime sounds differ so much from the nighttime sounds. And when do these sounds cease? At sunrise?

The mid-day sounds are altogether different – barking dogs, lawnmowers, cars, trucks, and all the people sounds.

Nature is indeed an amazing study of sounds. Think of the peaceful noise that a gentle rain provides. Or think about crashing waves against the shoreline. And how comforting are the sounds of a crackling fire when it’s chilly outdoors?

People will pay for a noisemaker with cricket noises to get a better night’s sleep with all those nature sounds. I have to have noise when I sleep. We have a rainstorm noisemaker, and it is glorious. It is so soothing and I drift right off to sleep. And should it go off, I wake up immediately. I am so obsessed with the need for sound to sleep that I have battery back up noisemakers.

I love the hum of an airplane when I travel. It makes me ready for a good nap. However, there’s all those people who are up and down to do whatever they are doing, and I want to stand up and tell them to sit down and be quiet. But of course, I never do.

Sounds, especially nature sounds, evoke many different memories – conversations around a fire pit, deep discussions outdoors with friends, and sometimes scary camp stories that keep you awake.

These cricket concerts remind me of a day with a few accomplishments, a few frustrations, and my conversations with Carly in the darkness surrounded by the sounds of nature. A good day after all. So just take a minute and step outside to listen to nature’s concert. You won’t be disappointed.

Write to Bonnie Brown at