Walking along I saw what looked like a leaf laying on its edge. Curiosity piqued, I went over and took a closer look. A katydid!
The detailed veining on their green, oval-shaped bodies makes each one look like a leaf— phenomenal camouflage when you spend the majority of the day eating leaves in tree tops and don’t want to be seen by a predator.
With ears located on their front legs, katydids rub their front wings together to sing. Preferring to walk and climb, they have the ability to fly short distances, but do so only when they feel threatened.
This little gal wasn’t scared of me. In fact, she let me give her a ride out of traffic on a twig.
When was the last time you hid in plain sight?
All my life Laurie 😉
One interesting thing I discovered about 40 years ago about Katidids here in NZ, is that if you put one on a table, and get down about a foot away from it, and star at it straight in the eyes, it will fly straight into your forehead.
I haven’t tried it for many years, but it worked reliably every time. The first time it happened I found it very disturbing, but when I repeated it, and it happened again, I kind of got used to it. Must some fixed action pattern in their neural networks somewhere.
Not sure if it will work with yours, you may want to try and convince Len to give it a try 😉
Ted — I can SEE you doing this. Moreover, I can see you doing it REPEATEDLY! And it tickles my funny bone.
Cut from a similar bolt of cloth, I’ll have to see if I can get Len to give it a go 🙂
Very clever insects. We have praying mantis here in Spain that also blend in well. The dog doesn´t even notice them.
Darlene — In my entire lifetime I’ve seen less than a handful of the beautiful praying mantis’. Much like the cricket, I believe they’re a symbol of good luck 🙂
Very cool, and nice photo too.
ColdHandBoyack — This photo was taken near Federal Way. I’ve only seen two this year. The other sighting was closer to home in the Warm Springs historic district. They’re probably around me all the time and I just don’t see them.
I’m chained to a desk near Hunter Creek, so if it doesn’t run through the yard I don’t see much. We had deer a couple of weeks ago though.
Your posts always teach me to notice nature, be observant. Ears on front legs? I didn’t know that.
I’ll be interested in reading how others answer your question. I’m not very good at incognito, camouflage – especially when I want to be picked up at the airport – ha!
Marian — Your airport comment made me laugh 🙂
I never knew what they were called in English. Fascinating insects (most insects are). I used to do a lot of hiding in plain sight when I was a child, far less now, but I had an instance while staying at friends recently where they were talking about something that had nothing to do with me and although I was in the same room I went into the background. Have a great week, Laurie.
Olga — Thank you for sharing that great example. I was in a parking garage, 5th floor, by myself, at night, and let me tell you what — I worked hard at being invisible until the glass elevator picked me up.
Usually I’d take the stairs, but I was even more nervous about the vulnerabilities of getting in the completely enclosed stairwell.
More often than I remember.
Lakeafton — Thank you for weighing in 🙂
It’s been a long time since I hid myself in plain sight. Now I enjoy being out and about, and starting conversations with people I don’t know!
Joan —Having read your wonderful memoir, and knowing that it could have turned out otherwise, I loved reading that. Simply loved it! 🙂
Nature is just so clever! I wish I jad that power to blend in the background and disappear sometimes! We used to go to big music festivals likely Glastonbury: a great way to mix with the great unwashed as nobody cares, being too busy swaying to the same beat. How I miss them!
Fatima — Oh that sounds like fun, everyone swaying the the rhythm of the same music! 🙂
What an interesting and rather beautful bug Laurie! I haven’t been doing much hiding lately. I do sometimes sit very sit in the woods though until the critters forget about me and go about their day. All the best!
Terrill — I can well imaging you in the woods or on the coastline of Mayne Island sitting statue-still and absorbing into our essence a scene to paint. Ahhhhh 🙂
This reminds me …. Gosh – I haven’t played hide and seek in yonks!! 😄
I concur with Marian above that your posts always challenge me to observe nature and learn more about other living things. As for hiding, I get a kick out of playing hide and seek now. Grandkids ages 5 and almost 4 are at just the right age. Here is one of my favorite poems, “I’m Hiding,” as told to my squiggly grandson Owen four years ago. https://youtu.be/CDJJ8A-2DjY
I appreciate your introduction to this intriguing beauty, Laurie.
I can’t recall the last time I hid in plain sight–it’s my preferred means of entering the world. You know those writing instincts–observer not star.
Leanne — “Observer” indeed. In the form of a giant sponge…we absorb it ALL 🙂
Nature’s survival measures are incredible. Earlier in my life, I worked full-time for social justice. One decade-long plus initiative we worked on was to open job opportunities for young women in the skill trades. Part of my job was to meet with Apprenticeship Coordinators to explore what actions they were taking to open their trade to women (required by law). They were often surprised that this friendly woman with deep dimples could be a fierce and relentless advocate for women. So, in that way, I might say I hide my strength behind my dimples. I used to own a button which said, “Never underestimate the power of a woman.” I just discovered that saying was first popularized by the Ladies Home Journal in1941.
Audrey — I’ve seen your dimples in person and I’m confident onlookers had no idea the personal fortitude and mettle it camouflaged.
COOL tidbit about the Ladies Home Journal!
I think I am hiding in plain site right now!
Nature is always full of surprises when you really look!
Jeff — I imagine as a photographer you hide in plain sight all the time. I’ve seen some of the amazing captures you’ve gotten! 🙂
Wish I had time today to read all the comments … you always have such interesting and creative people leaving comments on your blog posts.
When was the last time I hid in plain sight? Truthfully, I’ve spent most of my life hiding, in one way or another. But these days I find it much more comfortable to show myself much more often. Sure, I still like to duck behind a tree every now and then (after all, trees are a beautiful thing, and can be fascinating to examine up close), and besides, pockets of silence and quiet time and invisibility can help to refresh the soul.
p.s. Love that vibrant green katydid camouflage color … so alive and bright and full of energy! I’ll bet you are being drawn to all sorts of beautiful energy as the date of your book launch continues to approach in November. Can’t even imagine how vibrant and colorful it must be, to be standing in your shoes. Really very happy for you, Laurie. Continued congratulations!
Ntexas99 — I’m glad you’re more and more comfortable without having to hide. That’s a powerful step.
I’ve done my share of tree-ducking and you’re right, they’re exquisitely interesting.
Thank you for the well wishes for Note to Self. I’m OVER THE MOON 🙂
I often feel invisible. Sometimes I feel sad about that, and then other times I think of it as a blessing. 🙂
Ann — Yes, I can see see the pros and cons of both aspects.
Gee, good question! Since I am fairly well known in the very small community I spent almost 50 years living in and around, it really never occurred to me to hide, in plain sight or not. On the other hand, having moved to an urban environment in Southern California where a friendly nod from a neighbor is highly unlikely, recognition in my own neighborhood is pretty much non-existent. I do have feeling of anonymity and seclusion that I haven’t experienced in decades, a feeling of being incognito. Strangely relaxing and freeing, I’m pretty good with it!
She’s amazing! I was so sure she was a leaf! 🙂
All the time….except I need to be more in the forefront when walking as I have nearly been hit by cars recently, and they all say, “I didn’t see you at all!”
Patricia — Oh my goodness, be super careful! Wear BRIGHT colors 🙂
Miraculous creature , she really deserves to walk the catwalk . 😀
Yesterday, it was what felt like a ‘real’ Autumn day , love em, but they need dressing up . Or at least I do . When sky’s are grey I belive you need a little colour so yesterday I wore red trousers , multicoloured striped jumper and a very long bright blue scarf.
When going about my business , my last port of call was at the bank , which involved a lot of quew standing . Whilst in the quew the lady in front looked at me and said ‘I keep following you ‘ I looked at her and I didn’t know her from Adam . She then proceeded to tell me where she’d seen me . Looking down at my attire and then at her different shades of grey I said ‘ It must be the bright colours I have on today’
We laughed and had a little chat which shortened the quew a little .
So if you want to be inconspicuous… don’t wear red 😉and obviously yesterday I wanted to be seen 😀.
Cherry — I absolutely love your COLORFUL story. How FUN that a woman shared how’d she’d seen you here and there and you KNEW it was because you stood out and felt good about it, to boot! 🙂
Thank you for giving her a lift out of traffic, Laurie 🙂 I have only seen one many years ago in Africa – they have the best camouflage!
Tiny — I’m not sure if she was disoriented or wounded in some way, but it was my pleasure to pilot her to safety 🙂
When I moved out of my hometown!
Gary — And now you’re incognito in Nashville 🙂
That was only temporary :).
Nature is miraculous … this Katydid´s ´costume´ is perfect for camouflage. It really looks like a leaf 🍃All the best to you dear Laurie!, Aquileana 😀
Aquileana — And all the best right back atcha 🙂
While I dislike bugs…yes, all bugs, this particular bug is very cool to look at. My son would love that! The question is an interesting one….I work in a family owned business (not my family lol) and the competition between the owner and anyone who happens to come in to visit allows for me to “hide in plain sight”. When someone is so interested in out doing the other person in any story they tell, bystanders mean nothing ha ha. Great picture Laurie!!
Tina — You’ve given a GREAT example of when bystanders become invisible: giant egos trying to out chest-bump each other 🙂
I tried to hide in my wife’s office last weekend after a fire alarm went off prematurely in the building. Needless to say I had to leave when the firemen arrived. 🙂
Sam — Oh how fun 🙂