Before you break out your lawnmower to cut the grass.....

Take Time To Appreciate
The Weeds!
Dandelion & Bee - Pollination
Completing the Circle of Life
Nature Art Photograph by Carolyn Hietala


GO HOKIES! I made like a "benchwarmer" in comfort on my sofa watching the Hokies on ESPN yesterday..... when I posted this lady on Flickr today I immediately figured "benchwarmer" was appropriate in the title.
On a more serious note..... Va Tech played great softball in the Women's College World Series at Hall of Fame Stadium but fell 1-0 to the Aggies. I'll be rooting for them (with special cheers for Amber & Beth Walker of Galax, Virginia) this Saturday when they tackle the Gators..... which also will be televised on ESPN. Benchwarmer again ;0)
Nature Art Photograph by Carolyn Hietala (click on image for more info about this critter)

Natural Insecticide for Tomato Horn Worm - Parasitic Braconid Wasp is a slow killer of this tomato plant pest

This Tomato or Tobacco Hornworm Caterpillar is doomed. The wasps will hatch out of the cocoons and search for another Hornworm host to attack and lay their eggs in. The circle of life goes on. The caterpillar would have gone on to become a Sphinx Moth. (click on images to enlarge)


Dream a little dream...........

It's important to "walk in the clouds" least once in a while.
Nature Photograph by Carolyn Hietala
Black Elder - Elderberry (click on image to enlarge)


Golden Spirea Japonica - A gardening favorite with delicate pink clusters in May

Shown in full bloom is a closeup of the small shrub that I photographed hatchling mantis upon this Spring. This plant is a delightful & colorful addition to any garden even when not in flower.
These are very easy to root by layering..... just place a large rock on a branch resting in mulch/peatmoss and next year you will have another plant ;0)
canon rebel xt / sigma 150 / macro / cropped / bright sun / garden pink yellow green foliage / richmond virginia
Nature Art Photograph by Carolyn Hietala


Creamy Soft..... Ant On Bursting-heart

Sipping the sticky sweet liquid nectar of Euonymus americanus..... a woodland favorite in spring as well as in autumn ;0)
Nature Art Photograph by Carolyn Hietala
canon rebel xt / sigma 150 / macro / cropped / bright sun / insect botanical backyard nature / richmond virginia / #2 in series


Daisy Fleabane..... a soft delicate wildflower of Richmond, Virginia

Beauty And The Beast
Arachnid - Wolf Spider Allocosa sp. on silky soft Daisy Fleabane, a native wildflower to be visually enjoyed..... and worth our admiration for attracting butterflies and bees as well.
Nature Art Photograph by Carolyn Hietala


Bursting-heart..... a native woodland plant of Virginia (Euonymus americanus)

An unusual accent of foliage and flower
for lovers of native plant gardens
The autumn seedheads are a striking red & orange sight but are poisonous if ingested. Shown in this image are the small pastel blossoms that are a creamy mix of yellow, white & pink with a tinge of green. The little red ant enjoyed the nectar so much that it lingered for quite some time ;0)
Read more about the "Strawberry Bush" at the USDA Plant Site:
Nature Art Photograph by Carolyn Hietala


CONTEMPLATION................... at the end of the road.

Contemplating the journey.....

What do YOU do after reaching your destination?

Photographic Image of ANT & FERN by Carolyn Hietala


Mom & Pop sunbathing at their summer home..... what a pair!

Pop makes sure Mom is kept safe
and is not disturbed
as she soaks in the rays ;0)
Photographic Image of Male & Female Five-lined Skink lizards by Carolyn Hietala

Ever found yourself at a crossroad? DOWN is NOT an option!!!!

Decisions, Decisions.....
Sometimes it can be difficult to decide
which road to take!
Trust me little ant..... down is not the way to go ;0)
Nature Photograph "Insect at the Crossroads" by Carolyn Hietala


DEAD..... but not forgotten.

While admiring its tenacious lingering at the dandelion for nectar extraction, I was thinking how fortunate I was to happen upon such an agreeable subject to photo as this little bee. Its small body covered in pollen certainly showed it was doing its part in plant procreation. After many pictures at various angles I then began to wonder how I could be so lucky as it had not moved at all. A finger touch to the insect revealed that its poor little body had just worn out..... IT WAS DEAD! Blush...Blush. Dedicated to the bitter end..... and what a beautiful grave ;0)
Nature Photograph by Carolyn Hietala


Red-Shouldered Hawk - Frequent Backyard Visitor In Richmond Virginia

This raptor has a fondness for lizards so it patiently waits for "just the right moment" to dive for dinner. As a frequent backyard resident I'm thankful that it doesn't have a taste for Min Pin!!!!!
Perching on the fence about 25 feet from the backdoor this raptor was intently watching something rustling in the leaves. The dogs were let out and back in again as I stood on the porch in plain sight of the bird. It totally ignored us all. Later it landed briefly in the leaves to capture a Five-Lined Skink..... and flew off with an evening trophy of dead leaves and prey. Hope it wasn't the reptile I rescued and photographed recently ;0(
Nature Photograph of bird of prey by Carolyn Hietala


Images of Praying Mantis HATCHING ;0) After wintering in an ootheca..... they're FREE!

A backlight of bright sunshine
effectively sets the stage
for a warm glowing birth!

Guess you can see that
I enjoyed framing these ;0)

Resting..... so tired!

Scurrying about on a grapevine!

...... click on images to enlarge ......

Nature photographs of Chinese Praying Mantis babies

(aka nymphs or hatchlings)

by Carolyn Hietala of Richmond, Virginia


The babies have EMERGED!!!!!! Argiope aurantia - Black & Yellow Garden Spiders

Check out my label "spider" for pictures of the Mommy & Daddy of these arachnid spiderlings!
(They overwintered in the egg sac shown in another image in this blog.)
Nature Insect Macro Photographs by Carolyn Hietala
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