I stepped out the back door and found myself looking at this guy. He was looking back at me.
I got down on the driveway to get that shot and this one.
This is about the largest praying mantis that I have seen. I’m always glad to see them, because they eat other bugs.
Yesterday, I posted a pic of a tree that had fallen in our front yard. It was partially blocking our road. I also reported that the county work crew was starting to clean up the situation.
They did their part and left. I still have a mess to deal with.
They were good enough to cut the tree trunk close to the ground. I’ll still need a man with a chain saw.
I checked the rain gauge this morning and found one inch had fallen since yesterday morning. Can someone say “wet?”
It rained most of the day and we had strong winds out of the east. Driving into the city to meet our son and daughter-in-law for lunch was not much fun for the heavy rain and traffic. Coming home was different. The rain had slackened and so we had much better visibility.
We had been in the house for a short while when I noticed a tree branch down beside the road. It looked to be all on the lawn. But a closer look revealed the rest of the story. Just minutes after we had driven by, this happened.
A work crew from the county road commission is now clearing the mess out of the road. Update to follow.
No, this not a restaurant review. The big boy that I’m talking about is a spotted fawn. He is very large for his age, and so I’m saying he’s a young buck.
Sylvia and I have been watching him and his mother this year. We would see them regularly as the sun was starting to set. They would come out from cover and graze on our lawn or in the small hay field beyond. I posted pix of them on the eighth of this month.
For the last week, I’ve seen Big Boy wandering around here during the day. He has been alone and looking lost. We think he has been orphaned.
Friday afternoon, I stepped out the back door to go to the mailbox. There he was standing by the propane tank looking at me. I froze. We just looked at each other. A few minutes later, I spoke softly to him. He did not reply. I walked several steps down the driveway. He took a couple of steps toward the barn. I continued to walk down the drive. He ignored me and walked on past the barn. I thought he was gone for the day.
Later, I came into the office and looked out the window. There he was napping next to the driveway.
It had been a chilly day and I think he wanted the shelter of the tank, the warmth of the asphalt and the softness of the grass. He had a nice nap.
I really wanted to follow his example and have a comfy snooze myself.
I called Sylvia in to take a look at the sleepy fellow. Then she called me to supper. After clean up and doing the dishes, it was time to check on Big Boy again. He was awake.
He watched us watching him, but did not react. A later look revealed that he had moved on with his business. Whatever that may be.
You know the expression . . . As summer transitions into autumn, the bees are busy. This time of year, you’ll find them on the seedum.
The are harvesting those last loads nectar before the season ends.
No time to play. Must seize the day. Carpe diem.
Meanwhile, out at the barn. Another creature is looking for a different kind of meal.
This is the largest mantis that I have seen. I frequently find these on the seedum, but not this day.
I was glancing through my archive of unused photos when I found this sequence of images that I had capture over the course of a single day. It started in the morning. These grow near our back door, which is the main entrance to this house.
In the afternoon, I saw a spider securing its prey. It was a large spider, its body being as large as my thumbnail.
That evening, Sylvia went into the office to read emails and play a game or two. It is relaxing and the way she frequently unwinds after a busy day.
Another day came to a peaceful end.
As sunset approached, I looked out the dining room window and saw them grazing on the grass. With camera in hand, I captured an image.
Something over my way made the young one curious. He approached the house.
Hey! You at the window, is that a camera in your hand? I’m out of here!
It’s amazing to me how fast this guy can run. Mom has seen it before, and it’s no big deal to her.
She continued her grass-grazing activities while continuing to be alert to her surroundings.
On Monday, walking past the dining room windows, I saw what looked like something flapping in the breeze. It was in the neighbor’s soy-bean field. I picked up the binoculars (a few steps away) and saw a doe grazing on the bean leaves as she lay in there in the field (about 125 yards away).
A quick trip to the office and I returned camera in hand. Opened the window and waited . . . and waited . . . and waited. Retrieved the tripod, attached the camera and zeroed in on where I last saw the deer. No luck.
On to the next project. Sylvia and I lead a small group on Tuesday evenings. We both sat by the windows as we wrapped up our preparations. We were talking, comparing our ideas and setting up our lesson plan when a young phoebe landed on the deck railing just outside an open window.
We were amazed that this young flycatcher sat there with a fly in her bill while we talked to each other. As we watched, she crunched and then ate the fly before flying off to catch another.
We had wrapped up our lesson prep and plan and I started to put things away. Through the window, clearly visible was the doe once again chewing on bean leaves.
She chewed away in front of her and beside her.
Something caught her attention (our chatter?) and she froze in place, listening carefully.
Sylvia and I watched for a while and then went about our other activities. She continued her feast. What a beautiful day.
The sun had just dipped below the horizon.
I looked out one of the new windows in the dining area. There in the twilight were the doe and her twin fawns. The fawns have grown a lot in the last several months. I went to the office and returned with camera in hand. Mom and the fawns had separated enough that I couldn’t get all three in a single, useful image. You know who I chose.
I’ve zoomed in a lot. I’m hand holding the camera. It takes four or five images and combines them to make it seem like full daylight. (I did not manipulate these pix.) It’s the multiple images that’s creating the blur. I tried again.
Better results even though the subjects didn’t cooperate by standing still. These two have been so playful. It has been a lot of fun to watch them run and jump and enjoy our lawn.
I was mowing the lawn when I noticed several vultures circling over the neighbor’s field. It is not unusual to see a vulture or two–a pair nests in a hollow oak tree a short way from here. This time, I easily counted a dozen and more were on the ground. I parked the tractor and went into the office and opened a window. With camera in hand, I tried to capture the action. (Note to self: Next time try video. Stills don’t capture the dynamics of this action.)
The vultures were doing horizontal circles above the field. A couple of American kestrels would swoop down vertically and pull out of their dive just above the ground. It was great to see.
I did capture one usable image of turkey vultures on the ground.
I think the spread wings are to promote cooling. At one time, four of them were in this same pose.
Speculation leans toward an unsuccessful raider of the neighbor’s hen house. I’m sure he’d see that as a fitting end to the failed attempt.