Red-legged Grasshopper (Melanoplus femurrubrum)
Grasshoppers are everywhere at this time of the year, dancing from one waving frond of greenery to another, peeking out from behind every wildflower.
Northern "hoppers" have a varied diet but prefer to feed on legumes (birdsfoot trefoil, white and yellow clover, vetches, and alfalfa), composites (dandelion, chicory, Canada goldenrod and ragweed) and grasses (Kentucky bluegrass, barley, oats, wheat and timothy).
The insects are prized as food in cultures like Mexico, China and Indonesia, and are considered delicacies - I have often seen tins of honey or chocolate dipped grasshoppers in local gourmet food shops. The bugs also appear in art, featuring prominently in Dutch Golden Age works by artists such as Balthasar van der Ast and Rachel Ruysch.
In Asia, grasshoppers are symbols of good luck, also symbolizing fertility and abundance. And me? I just like looking at grasshoppers, and capturing them with camera and macro lens is ever a challenge because the little dears always seem to be in motion.