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Monday, October 24, 2011

Grasshopper has sideline as grassscootin' booger

I was walking across the bridge over Crooked River on Route J, outside of Hardin, Mo. to get a newspaper photo, when I spotted this little feller where the wall meets the sidewalk at a right angle. The challenge is always to get near enough to a creature for a good closeup without spooking him. I used my stereotypical "Tonto walk". Once I got within several feet, every time I took a stealthy tip-toe toward him, he'd scoot -- not hop -- to his right. Incredible springiness is the forte of a grasshopper, but there was no springing in this movement -- just earthbound scooting on all six legs. You might call the scoot a shuffle or a scramble, but all word choice aside, there was no hoppin' involved. I stepped off the sidewalk and got around to his other side to get the straight-on photo below. By then, he'd changed position and was no longer at 90 degrees to the bridge bed. But not to put all escape routes in one basket, he still had a leg up on the wall.

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