It’s a Plague

Jumping up from the ground to whack a person in the eye or continually eating everything in sight, the grasshoppers are a plague we just have to endure.  They have devastated crops and plants.  This year they are widespread over most of Texas.

Last year’s drought and heat created the right conditions for them to survive and lay eggs in the dry ground.

grasshopper4Grasshoppers have a repugnant reputation, which I think they deserve.  Remember Aesop’s fable where the ant was the hard worker and the grasshopper was lazy?  This pointed out their characteristic of eating without working.  Basically, I guess most creatures do that.  But I’m down on grasshoppers now.

grasshopper3Trying to think of something good to say about grasshoppers.  In some countries in Africa where food sources are scarce, they are eaten to provide protein.

grasshopper5Chopping all day long on garden plants as well as out in the fields.  The leaves on this Purple Wandering Jew are tough, but they eat them anyway.

grasshoppermetalHere’s the kind of grasshopper I do like.

beewasp2This buzzing creature has been perched on the solar part of this ornament for weeks.  The pole in stuck in a large pot of Ice Plant.  This insect attacks me every time I step out the back door.  At first I thought it was a monster bee.

But it looks like a Hover Fly picture in the Texas Bug Book by Howard Garrett and C. Malcolm Beck.

beewaspIf it is a Hover Fly, then it’s threatening but harmless.

spiderThere are lots of these spiders around the house and in the shed.  It could be a Wolf spider, which is poisonous.  Or it could be a Nursery Web spider that isn’t a problem for humans.

Sometimes I think I need a specialist to walk around with me to point out the good guys and the bad guys.

waspThis is definitely a wasp.  I’m pretty sure it’s a paper wasp.  Since I was stung recently by one, this dead wasp is the only good kind.

grasshopperwoodAnother cute grasshopper that makes me smile.

“This too shall pass” is not Biblical but is still apropo.  This week we’ve been blessed with good rains, which is incredibly rare for July.  So maybe the moisture will send the grasshoppers packing, as unwanted guests should.

“War is the greatest plague that can afflict humanity, it destroys religion, it destroys states, it destroys families.  Any scourge is preferable to it.”  Martin Luther

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