PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
A blog that strives to be firmly rooted in the Great Plains but often rambles and wanders across the map of topics.
Symphony of the bugs
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By Brandon Case
Brandon Case has spent the majority of his life living near the 99th Meridian, an imaginary line used for mapping purposes that circles the earth and runs through the North and South Poles.
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With summer well behind us, I thought it was a good time to revise and resurrect an unpublished blog about those warmer days. I hope you'll enjoy it.
On a calm summer morning you can hear forever. Or so it seems. Taking a pre-dawn walk through the August streets of Pratt yields wondrous results for the ears. It is like a symphony played on very small instruments—most definitely a soothing lullaby. It is the sound of the Great Plains eternal, this summer, morning concert. It helps me to appreciate why my grandfather sometimes slept in the backyard on a cot at night. It wasn’t just for the cooling temperatures. That sound is soothing and tranquil, the Kansas equivalent of a Colorado mountain stream.
Early morning walks through the streets of town sometimes make me wish that I were an entomologist and thus able to identify all of those sounds. Is that a cricket on the violin? Perhaps a now subdued cicada on an oboe? How about all of those other instrument-like insect sounds?
Talking about insects, one of my favorite museum exhibits was a simple one. I used to volunteer in the Discovery Room at the Sternberg Museum in Hays. Just outside the entrance, at certain times of year, a simple porch screen door hung with several dozen insects of different species attached. We all know that image well, should we forget and leave the porch light on too long. Talk about a bug magnet.
Anyway that’s one more reason to appreciate summer, creeping and crawling along as it does. For a few months every year, our town is inhabited by tens of thousands of insects. Besides stinging us and being sometimes unwelcome guests inside of our homes, at least these multi-legged creatures provide us with a nightly performance.

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