Wild Mint and…

Wild MintI took a little walk after work last Thursday and found lots of Wild Mint (Mentha arvensis) blooming. All of the mints are edible and I enjoy popping a leaf into my mouth and sucking on it while I walk. Fresh or dried leaves can be made into tea.

This one is particularly fragrant.  Sometimes, when I’m trying to catch a frog or tadpoles, I might step on some that I didn’t even notice was there… and my nostrils are filled with the fresh scent.

The Latin genus name Mentha is also the name of an unfortunate Greek nymph.  It seems that Mentha was beloved of Haides.  When Mentha boasted that she was nobler in form and more excellent in beauty than Persephone, the goddess was not pleased.  Poor Mentha was trampled into the ground by the goddess and metamorphosed into a mint plant.

But look closely…

I’m not the only one who enjoys mint…

Katydid

And just a little closer, still:

Katydid

I’m no expert on insects.  I’m guessing this is the Common True Katydid (Pterophylla camellifolia) and I’m guessing it is female because it looks sort of like this photo at Bugguide (though the wings on mine are kind of stubby in comparison).  Perhaps mine is relatively newly emerged and has not molted enough times to have fully developed wings.

I’m tentative about my ID, because all the websites I found on katydids indicate that they are seldom seen, only heard and that they feast on leaves high in deciduous trees.  I see them all the time in fields and along the trail, only sometimes under trees.  Is there anybody out there who can shed some light?

The common name comes from the fact that the sound they make resembles the repeated phrase “Katy did.  Katy didn’t.”

Anyway, now let’s look at that first photo one more time… Can you see her?
Wild Mint

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