Updated: Feb 21
I started hearing katydids this week. Right now there are just a few male adults--the early members of an orchestra beginning to warm up. By next week their ratcheting rhythm will set the tone for the remaining summer nights. The incessant thrum of katydids marks the juncture -a month out from the solstice - when summer has peaked and is slowly sliding into fall. The males sing by rubbing their forewings together and will sing their hearts out until the first real cold snaps of fall in September or October.
The katydid featured in the photo is a female nymph in its final instar. It will shed its exoskeleton one last time and will emerge as a fully formed adult with large wings that are uncannily leaf-like.