"Last MANtis Standing"

Lonely..... silhouette on the ooth.
Nature Photograph by Carolyn Hietala


Baby Mantis - Hiding in the shadows..... waiting.

A bright sunny day finds this Chinese Mantid hatchling seeking prey, probably its first insect meal. It is its very first day of life..... not even 24 hours has passed since emerging from the egg case. Please trod carefully in your garden so as to not destroy these tiny works of nature...... so tiny...... so precious ;0)
Nature Photograph by Carolyn Hietala


The Chinese Praying Mantis babies are hatching!

Here's one fleeing from a large predator.....
the scary lens of the Canon Rebel XT!
Nature Photograph of Chinese Preying Mantid nymph by Carolyn Hietala



Don't Throw It Away! ..... Gardening Tip

If you have ever gardened
or done yard cleanup
you might have discovered one of these.
It measures approximately one inch and would have been nestled carefully on a plant or even attached to your home in an out of the way nook.
This egg sac might not look special or precious but inside are miniature versions of that big gorgeous black and yellow Garden Spider (Argiope Aurantia.) The spiderlings will emerge and most likely won't be noticed at all until approaching adulthood. Then the large signature webs constructed by the females are easily seen.
They're not only beautiful to look at but these spiders are a natural alternative to using pesticides!
Check out the labels to the right of this photo
and click on "spider".....
there you may view images of this amazing orb spider ;0)
Nature Arachnid Photographs by Carolyn Hietala


Protect & Preserve - If you find one of these while preparing your garden for planting......

..... Do Not Discard!
It is a Praying Mantis Egg Case that will bring forth ravenous insect carnivores that are very interesting to observe..... a natural environmentally safe pesticide ;0)
Nature Conservation Photograph by Carolyn Hietala


Dogwoods slowly coming into blossom in Richmond

The petals on this flowering Dogwood tree
are pale green dipped in pink.
In full blossom the green gives way to
glorious white..... to grace the woodland.
Nature Photograph of Virginia State Flower by Carolyn Hietala


Wasp on Granny Smith apple blossom. The pollinators are busy ;0)

Ahhhh..... Spring!!!!!

With help from pollinating insects like this one we just might have our first successful fruiting on this young apple tree. I'll keep my fingers crossed ;0)
Pollination - Backyard Nature Photograph by Carolyn Hietala


Freeze action learning with a little help from Mother Squirrel ;0)

I just brought home my first macro lens.....
I chose the Sigma 150 and already I can see quite an improvement over the kit lens that came with my digital EOS camera - Canon Rebel XT. Action shots have been a challenge for me as am just learning but with Mommy Gray Squirrel always hopping and jumping about in the backyard I will certainly get plenty of practice shots. Thanks Mom. Here the lens is not set to macro. The shutter speed notably surpasses what I was using.
I am following up verbal gratuity for my unknowing subject with more substantial rewards of peanuts, corn cobs and whatever else her little heart desires. The bird feeder will no longer be her only obsession. A trip to the feed store is on my list! Ok.... Daddy Squirrel can partake too.
Nature Action Photograph by Carolyn Hietala


Insect on Granny Smith Apple Blossom

Thank goodness for flowers or we wouldn't have insects!
Thank goodness for insects or we wouldn't have flowers!

Nature Photograph by Carolyn Hietala
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