|watercolor sketch, Starr White, January 2016.|
Schistocerca Americana, the American bird grasshopper. It's official. I am in love with bugs. Me of all people. It all started in the autumn of 2014 when we began learning about insects in our homeschool science course. I thought it would be fun to capture a few specimens to study up close and personal rather than just in a textbook, and it has turned into something of an obsession.
|Schistocerca Americana captured December 2015, central Alabama|
I captured this beautiful specimen one soggy, wet December morning when I went out to cut evergreen branches for the house. Enchanted by its lovely rosewood color, I decided it might be a fun subject to sketch. Imagine my delight when I discovered those fantastic leopard spot wings!! I had absolutely no idea that a grasshopper could turn out to be such a beautiful, graceful creature. More evidence that supports the old adage - never judge a book by its cover. Like birds and fish, insects are amazing in their stunning variety - sizes, shapes, patterns, colors; and it is a lot of fun to try to capture all those wonderful details.
I just keep thinking about the hidden beauty of this amazing creature. Because I'm me and I think about things like this. This great lumbering insect that most people would hardly notice, and if they did, they would probably think it was a bit on the ugly side. And then it opens up those fantastic wings and wow. It is magically transformed into a perfectly proportioned, graceful beauty with delicate, intricately patterned gossamer wings. There's a life lesson in there, friends. Look for the hidden beauty around you each and every day, and you are sure to be blessed in unexpected ways.