Today, we have a couple of grasshopper nymphs that were turned up while sweep-netting in tall grass on August 23, 2012. The first one is your basic green grasshopper. It’s almost mature, as it has visible wing buds, but it has at least one more molt to go.
By the time I caught this one, most of the other grasshoppers had been fully matured and winged for almost a month already. So whatever species this is, it’s one of the late-maturing ones.
I’m not quite sure which grasshopper it is, since they can undergo some pretty significant changes in their last molt, and it could be any of the generally-green ones that have round heads and no crest on the pronotum (the part between the head and the wing buds). I expect it’s probably in the genus Melanoplus, their nymphs have the right general body shape and similar coloration.
This next one looks even younger. The wing-buds are barely even visible, so there is probably no way that it was going to mature before winter. It has a distinctly-crested pronotum, and looks a lot like a red-phase nymph of the Northern Green-Striped Grasshopper, Chortophaga viridifasciata viridifasciata. I know this species is around, because I’ve photographed an adult in the past, and they are one of the few local grasshopper species that overwinter as nymphs (and so would likely be found as young nymphs in late August and September).
It was initially sitting with its jumping legs tucked down, which is probably a good camouflage pose. But then this little spider crawled over its head, which was probably pretty alarming, and it cocked the legs up to the “ready to jump” position.
It didn’t jump, though, and the spider just continued merrily on its way, apparently oblivious to the fact that it had just crawled over somebody.
The grasshopper, on the other hand . . . well, to the extent that grasshoppers think at all, it looks like it was thinking, “What the hell was that?”
 Getting the picture of the spider on its head was completely fortuitous. As in, I didn’t even realize the spider was there until I was prepping the pictures this morning. The Canon 10D camera that I use only has a tiny on-camera display screen, and the view through the viewfinder isn’t very magnified, so it’s easy to miss seeing small stuff while shooting pictures.