My education with the locals continues. A couple of days ago I saw a really big grasshopper in our yard.
And then noticed that our tomato plant, the one with dozens of yellow blossoms, now looked like this:
The little monster is called an Eastern Lubber Grasshopper. It's bright stripes warn animals that it's toxic and it's short wings limit flight ability. Although they look big enough to be a plague, once they get to this size, they are loners. And apparently they are hard to kill. An article in the Orlando Sentinel summed it up: "'About all you can do is hit 'em with a 2-by-4,' said Pris Peterson, master gardener at the Lake County Agricultural Center."
There are a couple of variations on that theme: you can stomp on them, or pick them up and throw them into a bucket of soapy water. Until then, we are trying bird netting to save what is left of our tomatoes.