DP Photo Challenge: surprise, take 3

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Praying mantis devouring Monarch caterpillar. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Now this was a surprise! I’ve always thought of praying mantises (manti?) as kind of cute. Until I saw this one enjoying lunch.

Daily Post Photo Challenge | Surprise

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59 thoughts on “DP Photo Challenge: surprise, take 3

  1. Pingback: Surprise: sunset | What's (in) the picture?

      • When I watch nature shows, I always want the camera man to rescue the animal been stalked and killed. It goes against a biologist’s training to interfere, but my mama instinct is too strong to let harm come to a baby animal. I just have to leave the room until that part is over.

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      • I know what you mean. I can’t watch animals being hurt or killed, but yeah, the rational part of my brain says “this is how nature works”. With the monarch butterflies, we intervened to stop the caterpillars being eaten wholesale by wasps (I didn’t know about the praying mantis at that stage), but knew we were putting the system out of balance by letting too many caterpillars survive for the food that was available. It’s been a balancing act, but we think that about 70-75% percent of the chrysalis that have emerged are viable butterflies.

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      • If you have been following my blog for a while, you read about Mama Lynx spider and her spiderlings. (Steadfast Spider has Spiderlings) I was so worried about them during a storm that I went out and put a beach umbrella over her and her golden rod plant. My family thought it was nuts. They survived. (Spider in the Storm)

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      • Note to self: don’t read humorous comments while drinking coffee. I’ve just had to mop up the mess!!

        I think we must be the same flavour of nuts. We built an entire shelter for our caterpillars — wooden frame and all. 🙂

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    • Thanks. Yes, it was a bit shocking to find that the cute little mantis is such a predator. I do worry about interfering with nature, then I remember that the natural world is so out of balance because we humans interfered and we have some obligation to try and put things right. Although, with our imperfect knowledge, I wonder if we just do more harm. Sigh. xxxx

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      • That´s exactly it, isn´t it? We always think we know best, and then BOOM! 50 or 100 years later it turns out we had it all wrong and did more harm than intended…
        But I think you can not do much harm by saving a couple of monarchs from the praying mantises(?). 😉
        When I started feeding the squirrels I also wondered if I would interfere too much, but after a few seasons a couple of predator birds (mouseboussards and hawks) arrived in that little corner of the park and they take care of the possibility of an overpopulation 😉 I´m just glad I never saw them “at work” though!
        Have a lovely weekend! xxxxxxxx

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      • Oh: I’m glad you didn’t have to see the birds at work either. I’ve watched a falcon eating (a piece of rabbit that the handler had given it) and it’s really not pretty.
        Hope you have a fun weekend. There suddenly seems to be a lot on here, and I don’t know how I’m going to fit everything in. Actually, I’ll probably give up trying and spend too much time on the couch reading. 🙂

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      • Me too! But I saw a squirrel paw lying around once last winter… 😦
        Haha! I know these kind of weekends! 🙂 And I can understand your reaction perfectly! Spending time on the couch reading a book is the best excuse one can make when overwhelmed with too much opportunities to divert oneself 😉 xxxx

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      • 🙂 I actually managed to have quite a busy weekend without doing any of the things I’d originally intended. I found a beautiful Obi (japanese kimono sash) in a cool shop that sells old Japanese stuff and am going to pull it apart to make a wall hanging. I love this particular shop, because it is full of all sorts of stuff — everything from little sake bottles to kimonos, sleeping mats, huge urns, and so much fabric. The Obi was about 12 euro (equivalent) and the Big T found a really good kitchen knife for 2 euro.
        I hope you’re having a good weekend — with the right balance of activity and rest. 🙂

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      • Ohh! I love Japanese things! Food, couture, art… you name it! 🙂 (I secretly dream of having a small Japanese motorbike one day as they are the only ones I would be able to lift up if need be.) I have in mind to tailor my own Obi if I can find a suitable cloth. That shop of yours sounds like heaven! And the prices are just ridiculous – you would pay at least three times over for stuff like that around here. So now, I´m not only headed for visiting NZ because of you, that breathtaking nature and Hobbington but also Japanese shops! 😀 The list gros bigger and bigger…
        I´ve spent my weekend cleaning because a friend of mine comes for a little visit and everything needs to be shipshape 🙂 But as it is still raining all the time that wasn’t even a bad thing 😉 xxxxxxx

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      • Awesome!!!! I know you will love the Japanese shop and get so much inspiration from all the stuff just packed in there. We will have such fun when you visit!!!
        I’d really like to visit Japan sometime. The Big T has been several times, and actually worked onsite at one of the motorcycle plants for a couple of weeks. It’s never really worked for me to go with him, but I keep hoping that he will have another trip that I can go on.
        I think I should probably invite someone to stay soon; it’s the best reason I can think of to clean the house.
        🙂 xxxxxxx

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      • A friend of mine moved to Japan just a month ago. She and her partner build a hotel in Yangshuo/China, sold it and are now planning to do the same there. We haven´t seen each other in years now, and when I finally will make it to your side of the world, I would definitely visit her as well (given that she hasn’t packed up again and moved somewhere else 😉 ).
        When I was little, I gave many singing and dancing performances in front of family members and friends, impersonating a Geisha – wearing my mum´s kimono styled robe, hair bound up in a mass upon my head, wearing lipstick and singing made-up songs in made-up Japanese 😉
        xxxxxxx

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      • Your friend sounds cool, and pretty brave to make projects like that in foreign countries.
        And I do love the idea of little Sarah giving Geisha concerts.
        🙂 xxxxxxxx

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      • China wasn´t much of a challenge for her since she´s Chinese 😉 We met in Berlin though, actually in a little community college where we both wanted to learn Spanish! Japan will be more challenging I guess 🙂
        If we could travel back in time, I would give a special performance just for you! 😀 xxxxxx

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      • I’ll add “figure out time travel” to my long and terrifying list.
        I guess for your friend, there will be major cultural differences between Japan and China (and some residual discomfort over aggression in the past), but at least written language will be less of a barrier (unless I’ve got that wrong — I think Kanji uses Chinese characters). I love the idea of you bonding over learning Spanish. We have a Japanese friend who studied the Czech language and lived in Prague for a year. I found that a bit amazing and very inspiring. xxxxx 🙂

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      • Please let me know as soon as you´ve figured it out! I know the basics though: all you need is a modified DeLorean and 1.21 gigawatts of electrical power 😉

        You´re absolutely right about that she won´t have much trouble with the written language, it´s basically the same characters. And she and her partner are already busy learning Japanese. He´s German though, and has just managed to learn a bit Chinese – it´s a hell of a language! I tried to learn it when she lived here, but gave up.
        As to the residual discomforts over aggressions in the past, I´ve asked her about it and she said it was all surprisingly fine. But then she lives in a fairly touristy area (Okinawa), and I also think that them being investors and planning to bring more business and money to the area helps their cause a big deal 😉
        I love that your Japanese friend learned Czech and lived in Prague for a year – I haven´t been there yet but it´s supposed to be a beautiful and very romantic place 🙂
        xxxxxxxx

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      • I asked my boys about it since they’re the science nerds of the family and they just rolled their eyes at me!
        I haven’t been to Prague either. We were meant to go the New Year that Czechoslovakia became the two separate countries (which would have been cool), but we were really broke and couldn’t afford to 😦

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      • Good point!!! I would love to spend more time in Europe. It seems very far away now; which is odd, because even two years ago when I was last there, I didn’t feel that way.

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