Now this was a surprise! I’ve always thought of praying mantises (manti?) as kind of cute. Until I saw this one enjoying lunch.
After witnessing a praying mantis snacking on the last (yes last) Monarch caterpillar the other day, I’ve taken to patrolling the milkweed plants and surrounds to protect the remaining chrysalis and new butterflies from these cute, but lethal beasties.
The Big T’s monarch rescue programme is proving to be incredibly successful. Over the last few days about twenty five butterflies have emerged; fourteen of them today.
Here’s a video I made this afternoon; just a few of the hatchlings getting ready to take flight and leave us forever. Apologies for the slightly out-of-focus bits.
Photographically, the swan plants in our garden have proved to be the gift that keeps on giving: caterpillars, chrysalis, butterflies and now the plant’s decaying seed pods.
I’ve become quite a fan of photographing objects on a black felt background, and I think it works especially well with the slightly other-worldly fluff balls that emerge from the pods.
This week, as well as posting these images for Five Minutes of Random (the RegularRandom challenge), I’m adding a YouTube clip. I’ve had this song — Mud and Stardust — looping in my head ever since I took these photos.
In my largely ever-green part of the world, autumn is not denoted by an increase in colour, but a gradual sense of its loss.
Sandwiched between tropical cyclones Debbie and Cook, New Zealand is experiencing a few days of sunshine. For the people of Edgecumbe in the Bay of Plenty these days are being spent salvaging what they can from their homes after the Rangitaiki River burst its banks last week and flooded the town, and preparing for the terrible possibility that the temporary repairs won’t hold in the coming storm.