I see some of the most striking images when simply doing the morning farm chores. The day has just dawned, and the land feels like it’s just awakening – all I have to do is keep my eyes open and beauty manifests. On this particular day, I decided to visit a volunteer sunflower for a quick sampling of the fragrance and something caught my eye.
There, nestled between the depression in a broad green leaf and the bottom of the sunflower’s petals, was a clever grasshopper. I was only able to see it because I was in such close proximity to the flower – and all I saw, initially, was its rear legs.
What an excellent hiding place! Our pastures teem with hopping insects like grasshoppers and crickets at this time of year, and this close encounter was a reminder that they must be creative to survive. This grasshopper was sheltering from hungry nocturnal predators, and had found what looked like a safe haven.
The next afternoon, I visited the flower again, and saw what appeared to be the same grasshopper, this time hanging out on the flower’s furry stalk. As I tried to get closer to get a good photo, the grasshopper would move, almost imperceptibly, away from me. I explained that I was only trying to get a photo, to no avail…it saw me as predator. And I can’t blame it.
Though it may still feel like summer around here, cooler weather is on the way, and the grasshopper’s days are coming to a close. Seize the day, my friend…as we all should.
Edible insects as a sustainable alternative to meat? Read more about the future of entomophagy here. And, yes, I’ve eaten a roasted grasshopper…and liked it. Cicadas might be on the menu next!