Saturday, September 08, 2012

Jewel # 120 (Sept 8, 2012)


"And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts,
in that day when I make up 
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren

The Musical Katydid

"Thou, even Thou, art Lord alone;  Thou hast made heaven . . .  the earth . . . the seas,
and all that is therein, and Thou preservest them all. "
(Nehemiah 9:6) 

Katydids live mostly in the tropics, but 100 species also live in southern and eastern parts of the United States.  These large, green insects are about two inches long and are relatives of crickets and grasshoppers.  The loud, shrill mating call of the male sounds like "katy did katy didn't," which undoubtedly is where their name came from.  But often they make a strong, penetrating screech or some consider it a loud, chirping call.

Their colorful two-inch bodies are attractive.  The Creator has given them the ability to change colour.  Most often they are a pretty shade of green, but the color automatically changes to match the plant on which they are climbing or resting.  Birds, which would like them for dinner, can be right next to them and not even be aware of them.  Many of the katydids look so much like lichens (a kind of fungus) that when they climb up a plant or tree trunk covered with these rootless plants, it is almost impossible to tell where they are as long as they remain still. 

These insects are active in summer but are heard most often during late summer and autumn when the weather is very hot.   The males make their shrill, rasping call by rubbing together rough areas of their wings.  These sounds are made especially loud by paper-thin, tiny amplifiers under their wings.  Their calls, along with those of crickets, locusts, cicadas and many other insects, create an amazing chorus when uninterrupted on an otherwise quiet afternoon.  Some katydids begin their song at twilight and continue all night.

The Creator has provided this insect with remarkable hearing.  It has been determined that they can distinguish many sounds that our ears are not capable of hearing.  In some species, their long, thin, V-shaped antennae are longer than their bodies.

Most katydids live in trees and bushes and eat young twigs and leaves.  Their long hind legs enable them to travel quickly over the tree branches.  They can also fly short distances.  Starting in early fall until frost appears, the females lay their flat, oval, slate-gray eggs in the ground or in plant tissue.  The eggs hatch in spring.

Whether it is a whale, an elephant or other huge animal, an ostrich, a hummingbird or a tiny insect, let us never forget that all creatures are part of the Lord God's wonderful creation.  This also includes you, and if you trust in Him as your Saviour, He has a home in heaven waiting for you when your life here on earth is ended.  Will you be there?   

Love you all,

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