Saturday, September 09, 2006

A moment of elegance in a bug's life

In my grasshopper observations at the arboretum the other day, I came upon this big brown gray bird nymph that matched the dead leaves that she was resting on.

What I didn't realize was that she was nearly ready for her final moult. When I returned the following morning, I found her hanging beside her old skin, her new wings just stretched out, pale and soft. Her color still matched the dead leaves, if only for a while.

She had an "onlooker", a much smaller nymph who just happened to be there, but he appeared to be watching her with interest.

About half an hour later, her wings had folded neatly. This morning, I returned to the arboretum to find her still there, but her coloring had turned the dull grayish brown that all gray birds wear. (and I didn't have my camera.)
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