Even though summer is winding down the evenings are spectacular. Here is a great outdoor experiment for the kids. Did you know that you can (fairly accurately) tell the temperature by counting the chirps of a cricket?

Here's the formula: Count the number of chirps in 14 seconds then add 40 to get the temperature.

 Example: 35 chirps = 75 degrees (F.)

Last evening, at dusk, the kids and I tried this and counted 31 chirps in 14 seconds from the nearest cricket in the backyard. (We named him Ed)  We added 40 for a total of 71. Then, we checked the temp on the patio thermometer. It said 69.

Two degrees off was good enough for us.

And by the way, growing up we always believed that the cricket made the chirping noise by rubbing it's legs together. Not true. It rubs a sharp ridge on it's wing against a set of wrinkles on the other wing!

Source: The Old Farmer's Almanac