By Chris Sim
As I was researching the Zayante Band-Winged Grasshopper I had this recurring sense of deja vu, like I was channeling my 7-year-old self, studying every detail. It reminded me of when I used to get these small pamphlets in the mail called Wildlife Fact Files. Each one was full of photos, drawings, and information about a different animal and I remember getting lost in them for hours. Looking back, I’m sure those cheap, flimsy two-pagers provided some of my earliest epiphanies and were at least a little responsible for the profound sense of wonder and respect I have for wildlife.
My poster pays homage to this tiny creature’s name with an exposed wing and textures you might find in the Zayante Sandhills. It rides the line between geometric and organic, just as the Zayante Band-Winged Grasshopper rides the line between survival and extinction.
This special grasshopper lives in one of the rarest ecosystems in the US - the Zayante sandhills on the edge of the Pacific in Santa Cruz County, California. This sandy landscape is home to multiple other endangered species that are only found there, including the Santa Cruz kangaroo rat and the Mount Hermon June beetle.