Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Cricket Thermometer

So, I put my leg in my jammie pants last night and a cricket popped out the leg hole! Yikes! It certainly startled me, but, you know, it didn't give me near the willies that it would have if it'd been a spider. My immediate thought was more like: "That's where you were, you little stinker!" We'd been hearing him all day!

Funny thing that crickets, unlike most bugs, are greeted in many homes with more a welcome than the bottom of a shoe. In Chinese, Native American, and even Irish folk lore, crickets are said to bring good luck. I understand that. While I sure don't want one sharing my pajamas, I've always liked the sound of them. Cricket song sounds like the country, like warm summer nights, like peace and contentment and home. All that from a bug!

But, that's not all; look what else I found out. Not only can we enjoy the crickets' serenade musically, we can use it scientifically! We just found out how to use the little guys as thermometers.

Here's what you do:

For the approximate fahrenheit temperature,

Count the number of chirps

in 14 seconds and add 40.

It seems that, since these guys are cold-blooded, their bodies are close to air temperature. As air temperatures warms, so does their body temperature, their activity, and thus, their rate of chirping. Fascinating, huh? And a fun front porch activity for a summer's evening!

To hear some cricket songs, head over here, and then over here for a really cool cricket study to share with the kids.

And for a whole world of amazing tips and ideas, head over to Shannon's for Works for me Wednesday!

(I couldn't post a picture of Jiminy Cricket without including his signature tune.)


Memarie Lane said...

I've always had a soft spot for crickets. They were prolific in the desert where I grew up, and were especially fond of bathtubs. Once at a hotel where I was working a guest called me freaked out that there was a bug in his tub. Yes, it was a man! I went and looked and it was a cricket. I laughed and told the guy crickets are good luck, and he gave me a nasty look. I rescued it with a cup and took it outside. I've never been able to bring myself to smoosh bugs of any kind though, I always think about their families waiting for them and such.

Mom, I'm Bored! said...

My boys would love this experiment! Thanks for sharing.