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Saturday, June 25, 2005
Tiny green grasshopper of destruction
Tiny green grasshopper nymphs are suddenly all over the place. This one got into my car when I was transporting a potted plant. They are so cute right now, so soon after hatching. Based on adult grasshoppers I've seen around here before, these bright green ones are most likely Schistocerca nitens, the gray bird grasshopper, and therefore related to the destructive massing species (so-called locusts) that destroy crops. Let's see how cute they seem later in summer when they might mow down vegetables, ornamentals and shrubbery in their quest to mature in time to mate and lay eggs before the colder weather either kills them or lulls them into a nearly heartstopping winter sleep.
Whoa. That was depressing. Who wants to think about heartstopping sleep when it's only a few days past midsummer's day? Certainly not these grasshopper children as they jump with amazing force and abandon as I poke around the underbrush with my camera. Their energy, abundance and green brilliance are the distillation of a week's worth of long summer days' sunshine.