You know those contests on the radio where they play the intro to a song, and give a prize to the first caller who can correctly name the tune? I would never win that kind of contest. For some reason I have a hard time remembering tunes and associating them with a title. I make a terrible birdwatcher because I can never associate songs with the right bird. Normally this would be a minor handicap to someone who is not a deejay or park naturalist, but my handicap is now beginning to affect my daily life. I'm talking about ringtones.
Every time someone else's cell phone rings I inevitably grapple with my own phone, regardless of the ringtone. I can never seem to remember my own distinctive ringer.
Well, I think I've solved the problem. Insect ringtones. Yes, when a cricket starts chirping in the elevator I am pretty sure it's my phone. And finally I can ignore all those other phones with their rock songs and unimaginative rings. An insect ringtone stands out in a crowd.
You can download your own wildlife sounds ringtones, including that of the snowy tree cricket, at http://wild.enature.com/ringtones/ . It's a cool site with free ringtones that they will send to your phone. The snowy tree cricket ringtone is pretty cool by the way. It's not obnoxious, rather melodic, and not so wierd that people will look at you funny. To me the mating call of the Stellar Sea Lion would fall into the latter category. If you're a wildlife fan you can download a coyote call. They also have a katydid ringtone, which is not nearly as pleasant to the ear as the tree cricket.
My only hesitation in sharing this recommendation is that too many of my blog readers will start downloading the ringtone and I will no longer be unique in training conferences and other places where PMPs congregate. But given the small number of visitors to this site, I don't think I have much to worry about at this point. (P.S., credit for discovering the enature site goes to Chris Sansone, my supervisor and Extension entomologist in San Angelo, TX. I figure I better credit him since he's one of my few readers!)