Patience Grasshopper

Awhile back you got spiders.  Today you get grasshopper.  Just because.

long horned grasshopper, california grasshopper, grasshopper photograph

This little bugger was on one of my tomato cages. As a gardener, I know I’m not supposed to like these hungry herbivores, munching away on my carefully tended goods. But I can’t help but dig them… they’re so cute.

I’ve been visited by vibrant green grasshoppers like this from time to time in my garden, both in West Oakland and here in the lower hills. I decided, one seemingly mundane day, that one of these visits was a sign. But of what?

I did a bit of quick internet research to discover that grasshoppers (and locusts, which are a type of grasshopper) figure into cultural lore for many centuries, especially in Asia.

  • Regarded in China as symbols of good luck, longevity, happiness, prosperity, fertility, and virtue (wow, that’s a lot), families often kept them as pets.
  • In ancient Greece, they represented symbols of status and even immortality – Athenian women would wear decorative hair pieces and jewelry featuring the figure of the grasshopper as an indication of nobility.
  • And the Japanese cherished the songs produced by these insects (particularly the long-horned grasshopper, which I believe this one is), and considered them to be symbols of good luck.

As I lay in bed before falling asleep, I often hear the lovely chirping of what I thought was a cricket.  I now think it’s likely this little guy (or gal).  Woohoo little grasshopper!  You can come visit anytime…

long horned grasshopper, green grasshopper, photograph of green grasshopper

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