Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Cricket on a stick

with 35 comments


Okay, an ornamental grass stalk, but the ick in stick sounds good with the ick in cricket. And you can say ick if you want to because the cricket was dead. How its remains could stick to the stalk when I raised it and moved it around to get good angles for pictures, I don’t know. (I didn’t get a crick in my neck, either.) How I even noticed the cricket in the first place low on a landscaped plant in a parking lot in Cedar Park on September 14th while walking back to my car, I also don’t know.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 1, 2016 at 4:48 AM

35 Responses

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  1. I take my pick of the cricket on a stick.

    Sherry Felix

    October 1, 2016 at 6:49 AM

  2. My first thought at reading your title? “They’ve added something new to the Texas State Fair menu.”

    There’s a lot to love here, photographically speaking: the sinuosity of the antennae, the bits of iridescence at their base and at the base of the legs, and the variety of textures. What I wonder is whether he landed there accidentally (not likely) or whether another creature left him there. Squirrels will dry fungi and stack them in hidden ‘pantries’ for winter meals, so why couldn’t some other critter have hung this cricket out to dry, so to speak, until it craved a snack?


    October 1, 2016 at 7:15 AM

    • I had some vague food associations in the back of my mind when I picked that title. A few hoity-toity restaurants have started a fad of serving dishes with insects in them. If you could bring that down to the masses at the fair you’d earn yourself a position as Texas State Trendsetter Par Extraordinaire. And as always you get credit for noticing fine details in photographs.

      I wish I’d spent some time investigating how the cricket was attached to the stalk. It didn’t seem to be pierced. The mystery remains of whether the cricket had been holding on to the stalk in a normal way and then died, or whether some other animal stuck it there, or maybe something else we haven’t thought of.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 1, 2016 at 7:36 AM

    • Speaking of noticing, did you catch the fact that my name in the photograph is outlined in a brown that I picked up from the cricket?

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 1, 2016 at 7:40 AM

      • I was so taken with the cricket I missed that, although I did notice that you used the cricket-color to frame the photo. It’s a neat way of adding your name. Something like that’s possible with Word, although I suspect you probably worked some Mac magic.

        Looking at the cricket again, it occurs to me that, just like a good gymnast, it stuck its landing — albeit a little more literally than it probably intended. Even its forelegs are crossed as though it’s taking a bow.


        October 2, 2016 at 8:38 PM

        • I unintentionally ended up with the inner frame being brown. I’d set Photoshop’s color to the brown I used for my name, but after that I forgot to set the default color back to black. When I went to put my usual 2-pixel border around the photograph, brown is what I got. A happy mistake.

          Steve Schwartzman

          October 3, 2016 at 5:36 AM

  3. “Cricket on a stick”: is it edible? 😉


    October 1, 2016 at 7:51 AM

  4. I’d say your cricket was very likely the victim of a spider’s talents. I’ve seen bumblebees and various other insects stuck to foliage and a couple of times witnessed spiders (especially crab spiders) ambushing some as well. Though there’s not much of a place for a spider to hide that I can see here. Perhaps the little shaft was part of a larger clump and became separated.


    October 1, 2016 at 12:18 PM

    • This stalk was originally with some other foliage closer to the ground, so that fits with your spider hypothesis. On the other hand, I didn’t notice any spider silk and none is apparent in the photographs (of which I took a bunch). I’m afraid we’ll never know in this case. I’m just glad I could get some good pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 1, 2016 at 2:40 PM

  5. A balletic pose!

  6. […] I photographed the dead cricket on September 14th, I ended up not taking any more pictures for two weeks—a long time for an […]

  7. I’ve seen a few insects somehow or another stuck on a stick after dying. The only one I found evidence of why was a fly in a forest a few years back. It had thin bodies projecting from its exoskeleton…Cordyceps, a fungus….ick.

    Steve Gingold

    October 6, 2016 at 4:05 AM

    • I recognized the voice immediately. By coincidence, we watched an Attenborough show on the Smithsonian channel last night. He’s still doing his thing at age 90.

      While I watched the video you linked to, two ads for Cordyceps capsules appeared. Maybe we can get fruiting bodies of fungi growing out of our heads, too.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 6, 2016 at 6:21 AM

      • ECH!


        December 12, 2016 at 7:06 AM

        • Yeah, it’s gross.
          I must be psychic: I was thinking about you less than an hour ago, and now here you are.

          Steve Schwartzman

          December 12, 2016 at 7:10 AM

          • Clearing my incoming email subscriptions should keep my mailbox from overfilling which should give me more time to keep up and actually comment. There were 2,000 emails all piled up this time, a few good, but most superfluous. Also, we sold the Mtn. Farmlet so now we aren’t running up there all the time and I have less to distract me from my sewing and favorite blogs I follow. Don’t know if this was the place for this information, but there it is. 😀


            December 12, 2016 at 7:22 AM

            • I saw on your blog that the sale was set for the beginning of December, so I figured it had happened by now. I know you’re saddened by it, but you’ll have more time and less stress in your life, both of which are good.

              Internet communication brings the world closer together, but that closeness can get out of hand. It’s hard for me to imagine 2000 emails piled up in your inbox.

              Steve Schwartzman

              December 12, 2016 at 7:37 AM

  8. Steve, you and Lori have both been photographing dead things. Her post yesterday featured a dead deer. Ghastly? No, not really. Interesting? Yes, but only because you both know how to capture a subject to greatest interest and can back up the photograph with intelligent commentary. Well done!


    December 12, 2016 at 7:13 AM

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