Nature gives my family and me some wonderful animal music: spring peepers, wood thrush concerts, chimney swifts twittering overhead, cicadas. Then each year about July 22-23, we hear the first katydids. A few have called from trees the past few nights; they will continue well into the fall.
However, katydids send a kind of mixed message. Many years ago I mentioned this to my wife, Susan. "They signal that summer is far along. Fall is coming." Susan was then a very good, dedicated school teacher--BUT she did not want to be reminded of autumn's approach. I believe it was my remark about katydids that led to a family rule: in summer vacation (until near Labor Day), we tried to avoid the S-word, the A-word, and the F-word. And those words were School, Autumn, and Fall. In general, though, from now on this summer we will enjoy the bittersweet music of katydids (the K-word).