Bet you didn’t know this—when the weather gets hot, the tar weed around here sprouts nuts!
I was mystified on first seeing this strange phenomenon. I noticed that the nuts would suddenly fall off the tar weed when I approached; I never even touched the plant! Strange indeed. Then I noticed that some of the nuts actually flew off straight up in the air! Even stranger. Then I noticed the nuts looked just like grasshoppers, for camouflage perhaps, I reasoned.
On a very hot day the ground temperature can soar to the point where no small animal can survive. Insect-type animals have the choice of either burrowing down to where it’s cooler or climbing up to where it’s cooler. Thus we have hot-day tar weed nuts.
This year’s crop of grasshoppers is enormous. Driving along on our unpaved road I run into patches of them, usually in shady areas, that explode into the air. It’s almost like driving along the bottom of a pan of popping corn. If the car’s windows are rolled down, as mine are until I decide that getting the air conditioning fixed is really worth almost $2,000, they come flying into the car in great numbers. One time a grasshopper landed on one of the lenses of my sunglasses. That was a startle! I thought I was being attacked by a dragon.
Mother nature strikes balances all the time. Since we had lots of rain last winter, we got lots of grass. So she counters that abundance with lots of grasshoppers. Keeping things in balance, you see.