I was sitting on the porch when I heard a sound exactly like a softball hitting the ground. I looked at some rustling in the grass, expecting to see a wounded bird or something, and instead spotted this:
I've seen a lot of grasshoppers in my day, but this one had really cool colors and patterns on his outside. He was also gigantic. I looked around for something I could use for scale, but all I had were my guy's size 9 flipflops. When I put one down next to the bug, he was nice enough to crawl over it:
His legs were unbelievably long, too. Here's a snap where they're stretched out:
Now I'm trying to find out what kind of grasshopper he is. After looking through a bunch of photo sites I think he might be a variety of Southern Lubber (Romalea guttata), which is supposed to be pretty common in my region.