Our citizen scientists are really the best around, hands down. You are such a thoughtful and creative bunch.

We so appreciate the love notes, holiday mix CDs and other special prizes that have accompanied your sample submissions and observations about the biodiversity in your daily life.

Most recently, we were delighted and surprised while reviewing the latest batch of camel cricket observations.

Rather than uploading a photo, visual artist Suzanne Stryk of southwestern Virginia submitted the lovely sketch above.

She reports:

I’ve seen these crickets in our basement since we moved in this house in 1987.  I rather like them, and they seem to do no harm.  They sure feed the spiders!

In our back woods the native camel crickets flourish under and around rotting logs and near the cool rocky outcroppings.  But around the shed and behind it where we have our compost, the Asian variety hangs out.  They die back in the winter.    

I’m attaching a drawing since I’m a visual artist and I’ve drawn them but never photographed them.

Thank you, Suzanne. Your sketch made our day.

To see more of Suzanne’s paintings and sketches, inspired by nature, check out her website: http://www.suzannestryk.com

Sketch posted with permission by the artist, Suzanne Stryk.