- Category: Wilderness in the City Ramblings
Grasshoppers, and this one's a younger version of a Melanoplus bicittatus, or two striped grasshopper, live in moist meadowy areas: meadows, prairies, crop fields, road sides, vacant lots, ditches, streams, and vegetable gardens, etc. What's remarkable about this species is their destructive bent. They are referred to as a pest species. Grasshoppers, like the Melanopulus bicittatus, contributed to crop blights in the late 1920s and 30s which resulted in massive crop damage. Find out more about the submission process for the 2016 Digging to the Roots Poetry Anthology Calendar, see images, and read the guidelines at Writers Rising Up's Events and Contests Link.
This two-striped grasshopper was photographed during a Wildnerness in the City Excursion at the Elizabeth Fries Ellet Interpretive Trail at the RTA in Eden Prairie, MN. Its sustenance consists mostly of herbaceous Dicots or Monots, leaves of woody plants. But they also scavenge dead animal matter.
The two-striped grasshopper lays its eggs in ground, sometimes in manure, rotting wood, holes in rocks. Adults can live until frost if not consumed or killed off by disease.
The Melanoplus bicittatus is featured as the July 2016 Digging to the Roots Poetry Anthology Calendar image.
Getting to know the background of the various calendar images is helpful when you're writing about them.
If you can imagine not one, but swarms of grasshoppers, that would collectively cling to your body and clothes, that's what it was like during the Dust Bowl in the 193os.
Evidently like Locusts, grasshoppers experience a transformation when they become part of a swarm. Their wings and jaws grow, enabling them to travel greater distances and their appetites increase.
The desecration to Midwest crops included corn stalks eaten to the ground and swarms so thick they blocked out the sunlight.
All food for thought when writing a poem about the two-striped grasshopper.