In terms of weather, May was a miserable month. We (8 field technicians and our boss: Cyborg, seriously awesome guy) were rained on, pelted with hail, and almost struck by lightning several times. As June rolled around, the weather started to clear up, but new problems emerged. INSECTS. Everything from gnats to the swarms of Mormon crickets began their never-ending pursuit of torturing us.
Here is a wild image of a Mormon cricket molting on the side wall of UTV tire. While these enormous insects look like crickets, they are actually Katydids, and pose a serious threat towards the vegetation that many animals rely on. Over May and June, researchers from APHIS, were collecting data and shared with us that more than a million katydids had reproduced during the spring and summer months leading to what they call a “swarm.”
What else did I do other than survey Sagebrush and get eaten alive by insects? Glad you asked!