Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My Texas Alphabet: K for Katydids

The idea for this alphabet post series comes from ' The Alphabet of My Emigration' by Dee Dorota L., a member of The Polish Ladies Abroad Club, who has relocated to England.
I have also decided to join the project and write about My Texas Alphabet twice a week.

Katydids/bush crickets are long-horned grasshoppers. Some of them are quite big (up to 13 cm/5 inches). Thanks to their sound-producing organs they can make a lot of noise and 'play' their own kind of music. In the area where we lived previously, there was a little wood - home to many various bags, including katydids.

Roesel's bush cricket

There must have been thousands of them as they were very loud when they sang their songs. And it lasted days and nights, especially in the summer. I found their sounds really amazing - it was like a choir of singers who never got tired of singing. Since the katydids were so incredibly loud (at least according to me), sometimes all the noise made by the crickets seemed a bit disturbing. I had never heard anything like that before. European grasshoppers are good musicians too, but I never heard so many insects of that kind, playing their 'instruments' at the same time. Not that many as in that Texas little wood. You can hear them in the video recording (included below) which I made, impressed by their performance.

Everything is big in Texas, including bugs. I am not an insect fan (with one exception). Most often, the bigger they are, the more disgusting I find them. One day, not long after coming to Texas, I was sitting outside - near the crickets wood - and reading a book. Suddenly, a big buzzing bug came flying and, to my surprise, sat on my lips. Maybe the insect was attracted by the flowery pattern of my red-and-white shirt which I was wearing on that day, I do not know. It was so unexpected and so awful - luckily my mouth was closed then :). Anyway, I jumped up, whisked the bug away with my hand, and hid inside our place. I had no idea what kind of bug it was - I only noticed that it was big, brown and ugly. I got scared and felt strange - did not know whether it had stung me/ tried to sting or what. All in all, I was done with reading outside for quite a long time.

Southern Yellowjacket

When I saw a yellowjacket for the first time I was surprised too. It looked like a wasp, but at the same time, it more reminded me of an insect helicopter than of wasps which I had known from northern Europe. Yellowjackets are a few times bigger and they do not look nicer because of that...

Well, talking about insects, I need to mention that I do like butterflies. The monarch butterfly, which is the Texas State Insect, is absolutely beautiful. And, as I have heard, when it happens to sit on any part of your body, it is supposed to mean good luck. It is also much nicer than my 'ugly bug encounter'!

Bush cricket: By Charles J Sharp - Own work, from Sharp Photography, sharpphotography, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38312313;
Southern yellowjacket: By Bob Peterson from North Palm Beach, Florida, Planet Earth! [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. 

'K' entries by bloggers of Polish Ladies Abroad Club:

Gabi / K for key words
Dee / K jak Kiełbasa 
Justa /  K jak Kirkcaldy
Jagoda / Kuchnia Kampanii

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