Monday, March 26, 2007

Mantis Monday for 03-26-07

Just for fun, I googled the words Mantis Monday, to see what else was out there besides my own previous Mantis Monday entries.

I found this Gongylus gongylodes mantis created by artist Amanda Kavanagh, and posted to her blog on a Monday back in February.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Catch of the day

Look what I found today in the highschool parking lot when I went to pick Brice up!

A bowl of goldfish! Complete with fish food.

I don't even usually pick him up in that parking lot. I was just there by chance. That particular end of the lot was already deserted. Clearly, the fish had been abandoned. Even so, I made my way to the school office to inform them about my find and leave my name and number, just in case the rightful owner came looking for them. And then I brought the fish home. I probably won't keep them, though. I have two friends with ponds, so if nobody claims them, I will find them a good home.


...if that wasn't strange enough, there was also a dead trout in the same parking lot, a few spaces over. Really.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A couple of updates

Remember the trash-web spider? It's found a new home over my compost bin. It's even started a little trash collection already.

And here's the latest from my deroplatys. She has a weird disposition compared to other mantids I've had. If I try to hold her she will just freeze and pretend she's a dead leaf. Hmmm....

Lots of Ladybugs

Photo by Ron's Log
It seems no matter where I travel in cyberspace, I always end up finding bugs somewhere. Today, it's ladybugs from Ron's Log on Flickr

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Thursday, March 15, 2007

March of the baby mantids

I call "dibs" on the first garden mantids of spring!

There is this egg case in the crepe myrtle tree in my front yard. Just above eye-level, and I have been keeping my eye on it this past week, with the weather warming up. March used to be too early for mantids to hatch, but not anymore. Sure enough, this afternoon I noticed that some had hatched. A few were scattered among the empty dried seedpods on the still leafless branches. There is no food for them there. (the leaves will not start budding until next month, with full coverage in May. That's when the mantids are supposed to hatch. They used to, anyway...)

Others have ventured precariously to other nearby plants with better prospects

In the tiny white flowers, a tiny mantid is hunting.

There are aphids nearby. Hopefully he will find his way to them.

Across a small span of lawn, this flower holds a just-hatched katydid.

It sits just inches away from where another mantid rests on a leaf. (the one at the top of this post)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Mantis Monday for 3-12-07

So.... Anybody know how to read Polish?

This mantis logo is from a Polish website. Not sure what it's all about, but it featured this nifty image, so there you have it.

This morning's bugs

Our trash gets picked up on Mondays, so I am usually busy around the yard with last minute clean-up details before the trash truck comes. This morning I managed to notice a couple of bugs, so in between trash duty, I got my camera and took these pictures.

The weather has been so dry, we haven't had many crane flies, but this is their season, so I am noticing a few here and there. Two years ago, when we had a record-breaking rainy season, we had tons of them.

This is what is commonly called a trash-web spider. They build a small orb-web surrounded by a seemingly random collection of threads that go out in all directions. And they always hang onto the little dried shells of their victims' bodies, and, I suppose, whatever else lands in their web. It all grows into a little collection of "trash" and the spider lives right on top of the pile.
Unlike other spiders, it seems to keep the same web (and the trash) for a very long time, although I am guessing it re-weaves the orb part as needed.

This spider just made a whole new web last night, partly connected to a trash can that I had filled with tree trimmings. Maybe it had lived among those very branches before I cut them. In any case, the web was brand new and trash free. I felt a little bad for having to disrupt it again by moving the trash can to haul it to the curb.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Fat ladybug larva

I walked along the creek at the north end of Craig Park, to see if there were tadpoles (or anything else interesting). The weeds that fed the Buckeye caterpillars last summer were lush and thick again, but no sign of the caterpillars yet. There were some ladybug pupae, and this fat fellow, who looked about to join their ranks. (No tadpoles were seen.)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A cricket

I found this splendidly plump black cricket the other day, and decided to give it to Spike for her birthday. But it was so nice looking, I just had to take a picture of it first.

So, Spike thought it was delicious, of course, and I decided I liked the way it looked so much, I took that cricket picture and put it through Photoshop.

Still splendid, and now immortalized.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Mantis Monday for 2-05-07

Today for your mantis viewing pleasure, I have found a lamp with mantids on it. The artist's name is Galle. These particular shots were of a lamp for sale on eBay. I'm not sure if it's a real Galle lamp or not. I found listings for other lamps that looked similar, but were not as nice looking. They were made in China and were much cheaper.

This particular lamp looked to be of good quality, at least as far as I could tell from the pictures. If only I had somewhere to put such a lamp...

Friday, March 02, 2007

Spring beckons

At the arboretum, most of the plants that were ravaged by the cold spell have been cut back or removed, leaving some areas looking empty and bare. Fortunately, spring has started to arrive, in the form of new growth and colorful plantings. I have high hopes for the months to come.
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