Until now, I never realized that grasshoppers hang out in packs. Usually, I'll see a random grasshopper in a field somewhere and think, "Look its a grasshopper", and continue on my way. Sometimes it is before a softball or flag football game, when running warm up laps. But never have I seen packs of them. And when I say packs, I mean hundreds of them. What they are all doing together, I could only take a guess...
A recent weekend evening turned out to be a really nice day - temperatures in the high 60s, low humidity, sun still shining, but not too hard. It was one of those days that forced me outside for a run because how could I not enjoy nature on a day like that? So I set out for a medium distance run of about 8 miles. Typically, I begin my longer runs by hitting up the Fairfax County parkway trail, which is only .25 miles from our house, because it serves as a gateway to connect me to other trails and areas, rather than just running out and back on the same trail.
So I set out like any other run and quickly found my way to the trail. The route I usually take brings a slight downhill in the first mile of the trail, which always ends up in faster early splits than planned. However, as my pace picked up on the downhill, I suddenly became very cautious and was forced to slow my pace. The trail was lined with grasshoppers! And as I neared them, they would all jump out of the way. However, there were so many of them that it was like the parting of the seas and was really scared they were going to go after me for interrupting their...ummm...."fun"! Fortunately, they understood that in order to get rid of me as quickly as possible, they would have to open up a clear running lane for me, so there was no collateral damage on my part, resulting from the clash between man (shoe) and insect.
For nearly 4 miles, I was constantly amused by the sheer number of grasshoppers, until my run course took me onto another road that was not much of a grasshopper night club. It is something I've never noticed or witnessed before. Just an interesting side story that got me through my workout.