1.14.2010

Warm Up!

The temperature climbed into the low 50s this afternoon. This fine female found it warm enough to fly and Treebeard and I found it warm enough to go for a nice long walk.

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American Bird Grasshopper, Schistocerca americana

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And these two found it warm enough to, well, you know...

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I haven't looked up the identity of these little lovers ;)

6 comments:

jason said...

The grasshopper is gorgeous, but I love the mating flies! Even insects like to cuddle when it's cold.

And I'm glad it's warmed up enough for you to get out and about.

Ellen Rathbone said...

I love that first grasshopper photo! It's great!

And here I sit wrapped in a blanket. Still, it was above freezing this morning - a veritable heatwave. Our January Thaw has arrived.

KaHolly said...

That's quite an attractive grasshopper! Glad it's warming up a bit and you are able to get out and about. So restorative. Can't wait until it's our turn!

Kenneth Ramos said...

How fortunate of you to find these insects! It has been in the sixties here in the foothills of WNC today but I did not see any insects. Those last two remind me of scorpion flies almost. Though I did not find any insects, I did find evidence of Spring being just around the corner, even in mid January, as I spotted the Alder trees putting forth catkins, down by the creek below my apartment.

I thought it to be kind of early for Alder catkins though but they are still hard and have that waxy coating on them to protect them from the cold, should the weather change and I suspect it will and turn back cold for at least a few more weeks.

Woodswalker said...

Love is in the air, tra la! But not yet up north. Although the snow fleas are hopping. By the way, how do you know that grasshopper (great photo!) is female?

swamp4me said...

jason,
Being the cold-weather wimp that I am, I'm glad it's warmed-up, too!

Ellen,
I liked that shot, too. She was most cooperative considering how close she let me come.

Kenneth,
It doesn't take much to get the insects moving out here in the coastal plain. The insect-eating birds are certainly appreciating this break in the weather -- but, like you, I know that there is more cold on the way.

woodswalker,
Yep, that urge to merge hits some critters hard and fast! I've never seen a snow flea in real life - they must be tough little beasts.

I know she is a female because of two characteristics. One, her overall size. Females are larger than males -- this one was about 55 or 60 mm. Second, a quick peek at her southern end revealed the presence of an ovipositor. That is something you can't see in these photos.