Late Summer / Fall
Walks and wanderings in the last two months have seen the prairie go from green to tan to golden. Late summer flowers have bloomed and are now mostly gone and the leaves of sumac and chokecherry are turning to their autumn colors. At the beginning of August we watched the abundant grasshoppers of this year take advantage of the also abundant foliage. One grasshopper in particular we were able to catch at the beginning of its molting process. Our group stood for about twenty minutes watching the grasshopper shed its old skeleton and dry out in the sun. The old skeleton was so thin and clear. Later we found the shed remnants of another molting and looked closely at the delicate shell, even to the tiniest spurs on the legs of its former owner. The deer and turkeys are still around, and the migrating birds of late summer are flying overhead and stopping to rest.