One of the things that makes winter feel so desolate is the quiet. You can walk outside and feel like you’re the only living thing in the world. By contrast, summer is loud. The sheer volume of the insects rattling and buzzing outside right now is enough that I can hear them indoors, in a basement office with no windows or skylights. I hadn’t thought about it when the bugs weren’t around, but this is what summers on my grandparents’ farm sounded like—unless of course the cows were cranky.