Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Gardening with grasshoppers

This is my tenth summer at the 7MSN ranch. I've been through enough crazy 
dry/wet/drier/driest weather patterns to believe I've seen it all. Not so. 

The weather of 2015 has brought a plague of grasshoppers to my garden.
Okay, maybe not a plague, but a whole bunch. And they poop all over the walkway.
At least that's what I think all the little brown flecks are.
It's one thing to chew up my garden, but I've got enough poop to scoop, thank you very much.


They're not in the pasture, nor the front yard, nor the back yard,
just in my garden. Or what's left of it anyway.
My garden is nothing special by any means. I long ago gave up trying to grow
vegetables and pretty flowers. What's left are the survivors
that thrive on neglect, primarily russian sage.



The grasshoppers line up on the sage branches like good little soldiers.



Some are brown and some are green. 
Is the difference gender? Age? Degree of ripeness? 
I have no clue.



All I know is that they're voracious eaters,



and they're doing a very good job pruning. Saves me the trouble.



Apparently they don't like mushrooms.



30 comments:

  1. Yikes, that looks like a plague to me.

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  2. What do the chickens think about the grasshoppers?

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  3. EEEWW! This brings back memories of grasshopper plagues at my grandparents' farm in west Texas. It happened about 3 times when I was a kid in the 60's and 70s. The infestations were massive - every single surface would be covered with grasshoppers as densely as shown in your first photograph. All vegetation would be wiped out to nothing but nubs before they moved on after a few weeks...and you could hear the constant chomping. If you ventured outside, you would immediately be jumped on and covered head to toe with the aggressive munchers - I still remember what their "teeth?" felt like. These plagues were the stuff of nightmares. I hope this isn't the beginning of a similar episode for you! Are your chickens feasting on the little buggers?

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  4. They look little. Watch out, grasshoppers will spit tobacco juice at you (at least that was what we were told as children in Kentucky). We were not playing in tobacco patches so it made not sense. Something will have a good time feasting on the grasshoppers. Maybe let the girls have a go at them.

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  5. Let the chickens out and let the feast begin!

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  6. that is most definitely a plague in my book. yowsa! so many of them.... i have heard of this happening but never seen it.

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  7. We had an infestation like that a couple of years ago. I would go out before sunrise and find them lined up on the top of the cattle panels. They seemed to congret in the warmest places overnight. There was a massacre every morning but I still lost all my new friut trees

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  8. I'm with everyone suggesting that the chickens be turned loose on these critters! They would be mighty tasty since they are already seasoned with sage! LOL I'd have to believe the chickens would go hog wild over those things since they like to dine on things like tarantulas, too!! Ugh!!

    Hugs from CO - Marcia

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  9. Isn't that one of the signs of the apocalypse? Or is it just an answer from God for the girls?

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  10. if it is only in that part, it is a bunch, lets stay cool. it may come from a disbalance of grasshopper's predators: decrease of ants population or of lizzards. your pixes are perfect! and this mushroom, ho yumi, is it eatable?

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    1. I don't know if the mushroom is safe to eat, so I think I'll just admire it.

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  11. Dear Carson, after seeing how lean and mean the good folks are at Morning Bray, I have come to the conclusion that your herd lacks exercise. And why do they lack exercise? Because you have not bothered to provide them with a hilly property! or at least a specially designed exercise ground (donkeys have a right to gyms too). I call that gross negligence, forcing them to wear unfashionable grazing muzzles, and their union has dropped me a line about it. I would hate to have to call the Humane Society on you. Thank you for acting promptly.

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    1. I think their union rep has been feeding you a line of donkey poop. They get all the exercise they need traipsing back and forth across 80 acres, looking for me so that I can remove their muzzles.

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    2. Hmmm. We'll see what Donald Trump, who has an opinion on everything, has to say about that.

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  12. Is Smooch ok? I suddenly realized I haven't seen her since June 24...

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    1. Smooch is just fine. Sorry that it's been all Hank all the time lately. I'll try to rectify the situation in tomorrow's post.

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  13. Update: the garden gate is now open for the chickens to come and go at their leisure. You've all convinced me that chicken poop on the walkway is better than a plague of grasshoppers.

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    1. This should result in the tastiest XXXL eggs ever for you! Yumm! (In your pictures, the plague looks almost kinda cute, though.)

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  14. oh my... grasshopper buffet everybody!

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  15. Chickens will have alot of fun with those ugly things. Anything that flies and can get caught up in my hair...I don't like. At least they are one step up from your rattle snakes. Those grasshoppers remind me of a Little House on the Prairie episode. Pa planted acres of corn and it was almost time for harvest until those grasshopers/locusts came and destroyed it all. Don't go and plant corn or anything...it would be all for nothing. Happy HUMP day!

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  16. They sure are eating everything! Green ones are pretty...maybe the brown are full of that tobacco juice they spit out? Who knows...I just know Mrs. Hughes is gonna love this!

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  17. I SO wish you lived nearby. I have a friend that is rehabbing a Nighhawk and it will only eat grasshoppers right now. Of course, there are very few to be found here right now. She has half the women in our little town (via a Facebook group) out tromping their pastures to collect the few grasshoppers they can find. She can't order them online because breeding of grasshoppers for sale in the US is illegal. I guess they don't want a plague should some escape.
    Your chickens must be in buggy heaven!

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    1. Oh Linda, what a good idea, you could send a box full of them for the hawk!

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  18. In a weird way i'm looking forward to the post on The Girls Buffet Feast. Are they loud by any chance? There sure are a lot of them.

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  19. Grasshoppers are the next gourmet food. I read that somewhere that we'll be eating them for protein when we run out of farmland. The dip them in chocolate and you don't even know they are critters. How d'ya like them apples?

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  20. An American in Tokyo7/15/15, 5:39 PM

    Please video the chicken attack on the grasshoppers!!

    (By the way, they do sell some kind of cooked whole crickets/grasshoppers here in some city as a kind of touristy gimmick (I think), but I passed when I was asked if I wanted to try one. More for the chickens!!)

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  21. Ewwwwwwww....... I hate hopping bugs. Glad God answered the chickens prayers and brought them some special manna :-)

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  22. We have giant grass hoppers here that turn a bright yellow when mature. There is nothing that will eat them. we are forever stomping on them, spray does not kill them. They law eggs and hundreds of little black hoppers hatch out, they can clean a plant of leaves in a matter of hours.

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  23. I remember the year the grasshoppers descended/ascended upon my deck because I was growing one large datura plant......a beautiful plant but deadly.....and a narcotic. What I had sprawled all over my deck were stoned grasshoppers. You could easily get near them but they were so zoned out, they couldn't move. Did they die? Heck no. They brought more and more friends every single day. I mean it....every single day there were twice as many and it was a grasshopper party every single day. I learned my lesson on that one...no more datura/brugsmania. I haven't had anything near that experience since (seriously, it was like Hitchcock's "The Birds" when I stepped outside....just that my deck was encrusted with nonmoving grasshoppers, not birds). I think your grasshoppers have found something extra delicious...the exotic Russian sage.

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