Grasshoppers are extremely frustrating beasties. They hop away from directly beneath your feet, you see them fly and land, you know exactly where they are. But they aren't, not any more. They're over there. Or behind you. Or further on. So you take a step in that direction, and they erupt from beneath your feet, from a spot you've just examined thoroughly without seeing any sign of them.
You see one sitting still on a patch of bare earth, and you sneak up on it gradually, barely sliding your feet along inch by inch, hardly breathing. It doesn't move, doesn't seem even to be looking your direction. You raise the camera to your eye, slowly, gently, and there's nothing there. It's watching you now from 10 feet away.
So when I saw a big 'hopper in the centre of a cement slab the other day, I was surprised when it stayed put as I walked over to it, even as I got down on my knees in the mud next to it. That close, I realized why; there were two of them, and they were busy.
|I think these are Melanoplus grasshoppers. I'll send them in to BugGuide to be sure.|
I was able to get within 6 inches for this shot, with the camera resting right on the cement slab. I eased in half an inch closer, and they hopped it. Tweet