Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Katydid, Katydidn't...

Saturday morning just past, on a roadside in rural Lee County, North Carolina. Camera in hand, we stalk a tall plant with showy golden sunflower-like blossoms for a future post, when the sound overtakes our senses. It is everywhere and nowhere at once, not overwhelming like the cicada song, but persistent and omnipresent nonetheless. Katydid, katydidn't, katydid, katydidn't....

Although our human auditory response is sadly lacking relative to many others in nature, we manage to locate one member of the band, perched almost motionless nearby. A particularly beautiful representative of the katydid clan, our attention quickly shifts from its sound to its appearance.

All the katydids we've ever known were well clothed for camouflage among the herbaceous foliage they frequent, but this individual seemed particularly well-suited to its environs; not just in its color, but also in its physical structure. The slender, rigid sharp-angled segments of its prominent hindlegs were remarkably similar to the sharp-angled branches of the ludwigia on which it rested.

Its leafy-green wings likewise similar to the slender, elongate leaves of its host.

Even its antennae were in on the act, oriented stiffly to either side in the manner of those delicate rose-colored branches, yet another device for disguising the true nature of this tasty little morsel from would-be predators.

As we attune our senses, nature never fails to amaze, enthrall and astound.

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