Today, for my #NatureDoodlewash, I’m traveling back in my mind to my grandmother’s farm and thinking of grasshoppers. These little things were both cool and creepy when I was a kid. Walking through a hay field at my grandma’s involved dodging several tiny rockets sailing past your face. It would totally freak me out. I used to run through the fields as fast as I could screaming as grasshoppers pelted into my head and bounced off in a direction unknown. Of course, terrifying yourself as a kid is a total blast, so once I made it to safety I would simply turn around and do it again.

These little guys do have wings and can actually fly, but they are better known for their jumping ability. They essentially have a spring release mechanism that stores up energy and then catapults them forward when they need it. This amazing gift means they can jump super far. So far in fact, that if a human had the same ability they would be able to easily jump over a football stadium, which would be pretty darn cool to see. It’s really not surprising they’ve had a chance to develop these superpowers when you consider they’ve been around longer than dinosaurs.

By the way, grasshoppers and locusts are actually the same thing, we’ve just dubbed some parts of the species one and some the other. For some reason when referring to a plagues the word locust is always preferred, but I’ve no idea why. Catching one in your hands for a moment was always a thrill until you saw your hand which was covered in brown liquid. We thought it was poop until we finally realized they were actually just spitting on us. They were pissed, but you really couldn’t blame them. They were just wanting to be left alone to eat grandma’s crops while sailing through the hayfields.

Join me throughout the month of June on a virtual nature hike! Show everyone what you love most in nature with a watercolor sketch or painting and tag your images #NatureDoodlewash so we can all enjoy it with you! I’ll create a featured artist gallery of our global hike at the end of the month! 

World Watercolor Month is coming in July! Click here to learn more!

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Azo Green, Quinacridone Gold, Pyrrol Red and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

64 replies on “Grasshoppers In The Hay Fields

  1. Charlie, this little dude is excellently Doodlewashed, and that shadow – wow! I was recently in a field where the grasshopper frenzy was occurring, and it made me crabby. Ha, what a difference 45 years or so can make – I definitely didn’t want to do it again! 😄

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  2. Awesome little guy! I had told my daughters of fellow employee of mine who said that he often would fry up grasshoppers and they are quite good. Silly me I never would think that daughters would give it a try, it didn’t turn out too well, they didn’t taste good at all. I believed the guy because he was a hippie type of guy but then maybe we got the recipe wrong. Now, you didn’t expect that story from your doodlewash, huh? oh the memories you brought up. lol

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  3. The level of detail is absurd! What a lovely golden colour too, great sheen to it. It all looks so real, I don’t know what else to say! Nice memories and fabulous first sighting on this nature trail.

    My encounters with grasshoppers must have been very scarce as I have virtually no memory of them whatsoever. However, my sister used to buy tubs of locusts for her bearded dragon, Nigel, to swallow whole. Occasionally one would escape and I’d be quietly thrilled for it – at least, until it started flying after me, or got caught in my hair. Then I wasn’t rooting for it quite so much.

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  4. I remember them “pooping” in my hand as a kid… I didn’t know it was spit! Lol! 😳 Your details are amazing, Charlie! And your shadows are super impressive! YAY!! For insects!! 🐜🐞🐝

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  5. Fantastic, Charlie.. I’ve always thought grasshoppers are cool, but locust: not so much.. LOL. It’s in the packaging. I absolutely love the shadows here.🙂

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  6. Fantastic doodlewash Charlie, great detail, I have studied them well as I used to breed these things for my tarantula ( had her as a kid, then grew up, what was I doing having a pet spider? In the end I donated her to the butterfly farm near by, I think she probably had a better life there, I then released the crickets/ grasshopper/ locust. I can honestly say that they annoyed me greatly, the noise they made in my bedroom.

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      1. Funny you should mention camping, that’s how it began….my getting the spider. A boy I fancied at a camp had a baby pet tarantula,-at the camp by the way….unfortunately it died at the camp ( probably because he didn’t have the correct conditions for it while camping) so I get home and pester my parents to allow me to have one. Do you know I never saw the lad again, he he.

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  7. What an image your story spins…fantastic. And your painting, wow! the detail is wonderful…while part of me oooohing at the beauty of the painting, the other part was shivering with creepy crawly delight and remembering childhood days being chased by an older cousin waving one of these at me…oh the memories. Thank you for sharing yours and the lovely art.

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  8. Wow, amazing, Charlie, so much detail! Looks gorgeous. You could have also added this to your food specialities from around the globe, I think in China and elsewhere in Asia this is a delicacy. 😉 Thanks for the information in your post, was again really interesting to read! 👍💛

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  9. Now, that is a doodlewash! Oh, how well I remember grasshoppers from childhood. Thanks for the memories, and for the exquisitely-detailed illustration on our nature walk this month. Totally awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “A plague of locusts” does roll off the tongue better than “a plague of grasshoppers”. I remember them attacking the crops in one of the Little House books. But I’ve only seen them in ones and twos. They do always startle, though,since they’re usually so well blended into the background. Nice job, Charlie! (K)

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  11. Fantastic painting! But now I have to get rid of the memory of catching these guy with my older brother – I had to be brave and pretend I liked the feel of those little prickly legs. aagghhhhh! And, yes, that weird brown juice. Bleh. ( :

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Awesome grasshopper! Grasshopper details are so neat. Loved your story about the “tiny rockets”. Enjoying your nature series a lot so far. I might participate. A lot of my planned watercolour paintings have been turning into pure pen and ink drawings lately. But I did finally paint one and I had fun playing with unsaturated colours only, so I’m looking forward to doing that again.🙂

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      1. Hmm… I don’t know about pro, but I suppose that if I keep doing it, I will see some progress. And it will be more fun once it feels somewhat familiar. I am having lots of fun looking at other people’s paintings.🙂

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