Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Beauty and Geometry of the Grasshopper

While studying a grasshopper in late August at VOA park, I was amazed at his (or her) beauty. I don't know much about grasshoppers, but I learned to appreciate their beauty and perfect geometry that afternoon.

As I was studying the herringbone pattern on this Red-legged Grasshopper's back leg, I couldn't help but feel a sense of geometry. Parallel lines in the segmented abdomen added to the geometric feel--even the wings when folded together formed a triangle.

...moving to the head, his or her compound eyes are made of hundreds of hexagonal facets, and the segmented antenna contain more parallel lines.

...even in the center of his face, three ocelli form a perfect triangle (the ocelli are simple eyes that detect light intensity and may help flying insects find sea level for flight stability). Perfectly made, the insect really opened my eyes to the symmetry and geometry that usually went unnoticed around me.

On The Grasshopper And Cricket
By John Keats

The poetry of earth is never dead:

When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,

And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run

From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead:

That is the grasshopper's -- he takes the lead

In summer luxury, -- he has never done

With his delights, for when tired out with fun,

He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.

The poetry of earth is ceasing never:

On a lone winter evening, when the frost

Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills

The Cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever,

And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,

The Grasshopper's among some grassy hills.
December 30, 1816


Montanagirl said...

Terrific close up shots of the grasshopper! And the poetry is beautiful as well. Nice work!

Susan Ellis said...

Ah, Grasshopper, you have seen the patterns.
The photos you took are absolutely amazing ...think just 10 years ago for what was available for the "amateur" photographer. We've travelled eons and your eyes help open my eyes...thanks!

Tabib said...

Beautiful macro work and niece word/poetry.
Ha..what that red dot? parasite?.

Anonymous said...

Thats an amazing creature Kelly.
Superb photos as well.
He could be classed as a great Olympian judging by how high he can jump in relation to his body size.

Hilke Breder said...

Kelly, what stunning eye-opening photos! I have never seen grasshopper that way; and the inimitable poetry of Keats -- an amazing post!

Laure Ferlita said...

As always, you offer a unique and unusual perspective! Thanks for opening my eyes!

Jayne said...

They are so beautiful when you can see the intricacies of their construction! Wonderful photos Kelly. :c)

Busy Bee Suz said...

They seem to be a work of art to me pretty. I don't find too many of them in my yard, as they are good at hiding. But I do stumble upon them here and pretty.

Wanda..... said...

Grasshoppers remind me of an English gentleman in a herringbone patterned suit! Walking through our field just last week there were literally a thousand of them jumping for cover...I discovered they had small round disk-like feet! Beautiful photos Kelly!

Jobove - Reus said...

very good blog, congratulations
regard from Reus Catalonia
thank you

Lona said...

Wonderful, just wonderful Kelly. Great closeups. Maybe too close. It looks a little scary so close ;-)

Warren Baker said...

Nice camera work kelly. Love that poem.

Ken. said...

Hi Kelly.
I too managed to photograph a Grasshopper that was on my jeans a few sumers ago and I too was fascinated by their construction, if that is the right word.Great photo's as usual Kelly.

Midmarsh John said...

Great photos again Kelly. Lovely detail.

Tina said...

Great macros of this little guy..they are, as you say, filled with patterens..I just love to find patterns in nature. I guess it is the quilter in me, but this would something I would incorporate in one of my wall hangings quilts. Very neat post!

ShySongbird said...

Amazing photos Kelly and the geometric detail really is fascinating, I know I keep saying it but Nature really is incredible! Of course I loved the poem ;)

I'm so cross with myself for missing your previous post...that is one of my all time favourite books. I bought it years ago and loved it then and still do now, there is just something so special about it. I was even inspired by it to try water colours myself, not very successfully but I keep meaning to have another go. It is a book I can go back to over and over again, I'm so glad you discovered it too.

ShySongbird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chad said...

Very nice fotos... I had never looked at a grasshopper like this. I have noticed though that since I have been taking picture I have been noticing things now that I never paid much attention to in the past.

Jeni said...

Cool pictures Kelly. They are pretty creatures just don't like when they fly up at me when riding the horses.

SweetAnnee said...

I LOVE this picture..
I have an upclose of
a praying mantis and
you have to see them
that close to see all
the beauty!!

Thanks for sharing

Kelly said...

Mona...thanks're so right. Ten years ago I was still using film! know, I don't know what that red thing is. I have more shots that show it better. Hopefully someone knows...

Roy...those legs certainly can propel them amazing distances! Thanks...

Hilke...thank you! I had never really seen it that way either!

Laure...thank you!

Jayne...thanks...I know what you mean...the details are beautiful and amazing.

Susan...before seeing them up close, I never thought of them as beautiful. Little did I know!

Wanda....perfect description...a gentleman in a herringbone suit! I didn't know about their feet. I'll have to pay attention to that.

Te la ma Maria...thank you!

Hocking Hills....I know what you mean. It is a little scary seeing them so close, then the more you study, the more beauty you see. (I love your icon with you Halloween hat!)

Warren...thank you! I liked the poem too.

Ken...I think construction is a perfect word. They are very robotically formed when you study them! Thank you!

John...thank you!

Tina....oh.....the herringbone would make a beautiful pattern for a quilt! Their geometry still amazes me every time I look at them!

Songbird....thank you! Mother Nature is amazing. I keep being reminded of that every time I learn something new. I know what you mean....the book is special. If I'm stressed, it's the perfect antidote! You should take one of Laure Ferlita's online watercolor classes. You would love it!! I'm taking an Imaginary Trip to Paris right now, and soon will be starting an Autumn trip.

Chad...thanks. I feel the same. I've noticed a lot of things I would not have paid attention to since I've been photographing the details!

Jeni...I don't think I would like them flying up while I was riding either!!!! Admire them from a distance...

Kelly said...

Sweet snuck in while i was answering the other comments. Ohh....I would like to see a Praying Mantis up close too. I'll have to stop by! Thanks!

Heather said...

Nice shots, Kelly. It almost looks like a robot in that second shot, what with all that perfect symmetry and all.

Shirleyanne said...

What absolutely brilliant close-up photo's.
You've captured the grasshopper so perfectly. Just love it!

Kind Regards