Country girl — grasshopper invasion:
It was a summer in the late 1980s when the grasshoppers descended upon parts of Minnesota. I was a recent transplant from Arizona, arriving in the summer of 1987. I don’t remember the exact year, but I will never forget living in grasshopper world! It was like being in a duststorm, which I remembered from Arizona, except, instead of sand, it was grasshoppers whizzing and buzzing about through the air and around our heads, and escaping our approaching feet, which unintentionally and unavoidably caused squished grasshopper casualties. After being bewildered at first, and not having a larger appreciation of this ecological problem, that affected farmers economically as well, we kids did as kids would: we chased the grasshoppers, captured them, and created grasshopper homes for them out of gallon-sized ice cream buckets. Inside the buckets, covered with perforated lids, the grasshoppers sounded like popping corn as they bounced around, ricocheting off of the plastic all at once. As summer went on, we learned how to take good care of our grasshoppers by giving them different types of grass and flowers, placing them so that the grasshoppers would feel at home. It’s hard to say how many ice cream buckets full of grasshoppers we kept in our bedrooms, but our parents never complained. Leave it to kids to turn an insect nightmare into a wonderland.