I enjoyed the time I spent watching this grasshopper on an afternoon in August. He was very active, but most active were his antenna. They were constantly moving....down, middle, up. Antenna do so much, no wonder he never stopped moving them. Antenna can sense odor, humidity, vibration, wind velocity and direction (found on this site). We're not positive, but we think this guy looks a lot like a Red-legged Locust (Melanoplus femur-rubrum)--also know as a Red-legged Grasshopper.
Here they are down.....touching the flower head.
...then they started moving up.
...all the way up. It was fun to watch him eat (I think that's what he was doing). Can you see how his front leg is putting something in his mouth. He did this over and over. I assume he was grabbing part of the flower to eat. I don't know, though, and I didn't have the energy to research. I'll look into that later. He also would use his front leg to run over his antenna--like a kitty running his paw over his ear! It was very interesting to watch...
...now they are down! Does anyone know what those little red things are? He (or she) had them on both sides.
Thanks, Steve for letting me know the red things are mites. In Steve's own words: "There are several species of mites that can be found on grasshoppers. Some are actually parasites and others are just hitching a ride to a new location."