Thank you to Lisa, for submitting a photo of their “very friendly little friend” that hangs out in the rocks near the house. Looking more like a rock, than grasshopper, this large species is perfectly camouflaged at rest. This particular individual is still growing and with a little luck it will reach adulthood and sport brownish black hindwings trimmed in a yellow border. In flight they may be mistaken for Mourning Cloak Butterflies because of their similar size, bobbing flight, and wing coloring. Carolina grasshoppers are abundant across the U.S. and Canada in all habitats, including roadsides, vacant lots, and gravel quarries. They feed on both grasses and broadleaf herbaceous plants like dandelions. The sharp ridge on top of the head / thorax with one deep cut is a good identifier in combination with other characteristics.
Photo by Lisa Spinnler on 7/18/20 in Florence, MT