Life at Night

An Essay By Arthur // 7/29/2012

   It’s evening, and the sun is going down; whether you’re in the Deschutes River valley or up in the Cascades near Salmon La Sac, you will hear the chirps of crickets. If it is in the high desert near the Deschutes the beautiful chirping that you will hear will probably be made by true crickets -- field crickets to be precise. If you are not in the high desert, but up in the forested mountains of the Cascades, it will be a whole different picture. Instead of the lovely serenade of the field crickets that could lull anyone to sleep, a loud, obnoxious screech meets your ears. Eeeeeeeeeeee! Eeeeeeeeee! Eeeeeeee! Instead of listening to the soft chirps, and slowly dozing off to sleep, you pull your pillow over your head and try to ignore the noise. Some of you might think that these things can’t be anything as bad as cicadas, but trust me, they are at least as loud.

   These creatures are what J. R. R. Tolkien mentioned in The Lord of the Rings, Book I, chapter XI: "There were also abominable creatures haunting the reeds and tussocks that from the sound of them were evil relatives of the cricket."

   The mysterious insect with which I have piqued your curiosity is called a grig. They are in the family Prophalangopsidae, different than that of true crickets, which are in the family Gryllidae. The males will deliver a short high-pitched trill, while sitting head-down on a tree trunk. These insects Are ferocious looking, but are really quite harmless. They are found in northwestern North America and central Asia. Their evil sounding chirp seem to be warning off all intruders, “Keep away! It is now night, and now we rule.” Of course I take no heed; my love of insects and adventure swells stronger than my want of sleep, so I plan an outing for the night and wait patiently for dusk. When the sun is set, and it is getting darker by the minute, the grigs begin their songs; I head out with my brother, a couple of my cousins, and once even my sister. In a few minutes it is completely dark, and we listen to the chirps, trying to discern the individual songs and figuring out which one is closest. Every grig seems to be chirping at a slightly different pitch than the other. Once I think I hear one that is fairly close I approach its general direction, until I think that I’ve pinpointed which tree it’s on; then I turn my headlamp on and scour the tree trunk up to six feet off the ground. If it isn’t there, I turn my light off and listen for it to start chirping again. If I do find one on it, I grab it by the thorax and quickly drop it into the awaiting cage. After a while, the grigs will get used to being in the cage and they will once again add their notes to the eerie song of their night rule.

   Of course, grigs aren’t the only insects out at night; you will occasionally come across a ground beetle wandering around the forest floor. When you take a closer look you will find camel crickets, a wingless (songless) cousin of crickets, camouflaged well in their environment; even katydids will come out sometimes (though these ones would have been mistaken as grasshoppers by most people).

   Now we go back down to the high desert, to the Deschutes River valley to be precise, and take a look at the life down there. Though you may think that there would be much less life in a desert, you would be wrong. The air is filled with the beautiful chirps of field crickets that seem to call to you, “Come, come and find us! I’m the best hidden of all the crickets, so you’ll never find me.” It’s as if they’re all playing a game of who can hide the best from Arthur. All the crickets that are caught, lose. I don’t mind the game at all, in fact, I quite like it. I go out and catch as many as I can. It’s a lot easier than catching grigs, and field crickets are just so much better.

   There is much more than just crickets; there’s some sort of insect everywhere you look. Camel crickets, darkling beetles, praying mantis’, and many other insects. I even encountered a solifugid, or camel spider, which aren’t actually spiders, but are in their own separate order, and are the most ferocious looking creatures God has put upon this planet.

   “What do you do with all these insect?” you might ask. What else? I bring them home and put them into different cages. I currently have both field crickets and grigs (although I have to put the grigs in the garage for the night). I have a large assortment of beetles, lots of camel crickets and a few katydids. My menagerie continually grows, every insect that won’t eat my others, gets picked up and put in one of my cages. Some of them don't fare too well; but that just grows my collection of insects that are ready for pinning. Some of my beetles have lasted for quite a while; my oldest insect is a cabin beetle (Iphthiminus serratus) which I have had for over two years.

   Insects are an amazing part of God's creation, and a joy to observe; that is why I love them so much. I encourage you to stop a second the next time you see an Insect and observe it for a minute. When you come back home or back inside look it up on the internet or in a guide book and try to identify it to at least the order if not the family. Until my next rant on insects, go out and observe them!

Comments

Please Correct This Essay

If you find any thing wrong in this essay, please leave a comment. Any passive voice? Somewhat unclear? Bad sentence structure? Even a spelling mistake. Any constructive criticism. Is this interesting enough, or does it sometimes get a little boring?

Arthur | Sun, 07/29/2012

"My greatest wish for my writing is that it would point you to the Savior."

First Impressions

Hi Arthur,

This is an interesting piece of writing =] I see that you are also looking for some feedback, and below are some of mine.

1. Is there a particular reason why you are using brackets to enclose certain words? Brackets are used like parenthesis, except that they are generally valid only within quoted materials.

2. I do believe an “I” has been omitted after the comma in this sentence: “If I do find one on it, grab it by the thorax and quickly drop it into the awaiting cage.”

3. I just want to say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this sentence, so to speak: “This mysterious insect that I have piqued your curiosity about is called a grig.” However, something in my head tells me to read the sentence this way: “The mysterious insect with which I have piqued your curiosity is called a grig.”

4. Finally, and again this might be a stylistic choice on your part, this sentence appears to be a run on: “Of course I take no heed, my love of insects and adventure swelling stronger than my want of sleep, I plan an outing for the night and wait patiently for dusk.”

Overall, great work & thanks for sharing!

Srey | Tue, 07/31/2012

:)

I like how you started this essay. But I think how you ended it was a bit too abrupt. It doesn't really satisfy me as a good conclusion. (Wow, I wonder how many insect cages you have at home right now!) I wonder why you used brackets as well.

"If it is in the high desert near the Deschutes the beautiful chirping that you will hear will [probably] be made by true crickets, field crickets to be precise."

And I am not sure if the comma that I put in bold in the above quote should be a comma but a dash(--).

The descriptions throughout the essay are good though. :)

Keep writing!

Lucy Anne | Tue, 07/31/2012

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thank you

Thank you Srey and Lucy Anne for pointing out all the problems in my essay, much appreciated!
I forget what my logic was for putting in the brackets, but it was definately flawed.
Yes, I do agree with you Lucy Anne, it is somewhat of an abrupt ending. I'll work on writing a more conclusive ending.
Lucy Anne, just to satisfy your curiosity, I have four cages and two insect catchers (smaller, and more for bringing into the field with me).
Thanks again!

Arthur | Fri, 08/03/2012

"My greatest wish for my writing is that it would point you to the Savior."

Edited!

I have written a few more sentences that hopefully tie up the essay a little better. If you still think that it could be done better, please comment and I will try to my best of abilities to figure out another way.

Arthur | Fri, 08/10/2012

"My greatest wish for my writing is that it would point you to the Savior."

Yes, I just skimmed this, but

Yes, I just skimmed this, but well done on the few tying-up sentences! Very good.

From what I've read about you (dragonflies, cicaddas (I know I spelt that wrong)) ...... I think I've come to the conclusion that you like INSECTS!

Maddi | Thu, 08/23/2012

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

Yes, you are quite correct!

I love Insects! Sometimes, infact, I think that I can get a little overboard on Insect. Thank's for the comments.

Arthur | Thu, 08/23/2012

"My greatest wish for my writing is that it would point you to the Savior."

I like how you changed it,

I like how you changed it, but I am not completely satisfied. I still feel that you could do better. You describe all these things about these different types of God's creation, and than you end it still rather abruptly. I really like, “What do you do with all these insect?” you might ask. What else? I bring them home and put them into different cages. " But then your sudden "That is all for now, but I will continue with my insect ranting in a later essays." is distracting and makes the reader think, "Wha--", then, "...that's it?" I don't know, that's just what I think. I may be too picky.

I know that you love insects. And, there's this great nature magazine that i subscribe to called Nature Friend Magazine. You can check out there website here --

www.naturefriendmagazine.com

I REALLY love this. It's a Christian magazine and many Christians and homeschoolers subscribe to it. One of the many things I love about this is that the readers are invited to submit their own articles, photos, artwork, poems, etc! And, it doesn't talk about evolution and all that like some other nature magazines I know. I really recommend it. So please visit the site and there you can view some sample issues.

Lucy Anne | Thu, 08/23/2012

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

What would I do without your critiques

   I can't tell you how much I love your comments. Thank you so much for your kritik; it is very helpful. I have edited it once more, and hope that it is satisfying. If not, please feel free to say so. Have I still not created a satisfying ending? Please say so if you think so!

   I think that we used to get that magazine, but not any more. We (my family) already subscribe to 3 or 4 creation magazines, like the Answers Magazine, Acts and Facts, and another or two.

Arthur | Sun, 09/09/2012

"My greatest wish for my writing is that it would point you to the Savior."

Thank you! Do you mean my

Thank you! Do you mean my comments to your work or in general?

About your ending. I like it very much! That is one hundred times better than before! Thanks for saving "What do you do with all these insects?" part. Wonderful job! :) And it is wonderful that you used to get Nature Friend. :)

Lucy Anne | Sun, 09/09/2012

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Yes! I have done it.

I mean all your comments that critique. They help me to improve not only that one piece but all future posts.

Arthur | Sun, 09/09/2012

"My greatest wish for my writing is that it would point you to the Savior."

I really enjoyed this! I like

I really enjoyed this! I like bugs, too, I just don't like them when I'm in bed and they decide to visit. :) Have you ever studied the Praying Mantis? I find those bugs enteresting.

Damaris Ann | Tue, 11/11/2014

My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:8-9‬

Praying Mantis

Praying Mantises are some of the strangest bugs on the planet... I haven't studied them in particular, but I know the basic facts on them. I've observed them many a time, and they are so alien looking. A praying mantis will turn its head to look at you, and they seem to have pupils in their eyes, giving them a very human/vertebrate feeling. They are amazing though.

Arthur | Fri, 11/14/2014

"My greatest wish for my writing is that it would point you to the Savior."

Yes, they do have creepy

Yes, they do have creepy looking eyes. Those bugs are known around here for running across my face in the middle of the night. It's happened twice this year. :) But I do like praying mantises. Did you know that they pinch when they feel intimidated?

Damaris Ann | Fri, 11/14/2014

My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:8-9‬

Praying Mantids

Praying Mantises aren't so common here in Oregon (at least in the Portland suburbs). I have caught them before and been lucky enough to have experienced one pinch me and draw blood (of course other times I've got pinched and no blood was drawn). Cool insects to raise though!

Arthur | Mon, 11/17/2014

"My greatest wish for my writing is that it would point you to the Savior."

Hm, I didn't know

Hm, I didn't know that.
Lucky??? That's a funny way to put it. :) I've never had blood drawn by one, but it sure does hurt! Although not too bad. :)

Damaris Ann | Mon, 11/17/2014

My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:8-9‬