Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Preying for more

I really like the look I get when I train my butterfly bushes into a tree form.  It's tidy and there's room for other plants around the base.

Anyway, while mowing today I cruised by the bush and something caught my eye.  Omigosh.

Here's something I've not seen since I was a kid growing up with lots of open field around.

Look.   A preying mantis egg case!  (Kinda like tan styrofoam.) There are probably a hundred individual egg chambers in this sack, and when they hatch, they will be 1/4" long, yellow and look exactly like their parents.

I'm a lot less surprised finding this than I could have been.  Earlier in the season I did spy a mantis, but only once and not again.

However, between the heat and drought this year we had yet ANOTHER obnoxious critter (beside the deer and squash bugs) - namely grasshoppers. I've been here 10 years and had not seen any hoppers before this year.

So could the mantises be far behind?  I remember as a kid we had lots of mantises in the fields - and they ate a lot of grasshoppers.  Can't say enough good things about them (the mantises - not the hoppers).

Okay, last post a hawk to go after the chipmunks and mice.  Now mantises to go after the hoppers.

Can there be a litter of wolf pups far behind to go after the #*#($&(#@ deer!!!   (Heck, I'd settle for a collie with a colt 45....!)


  1. Kris-how nice you found an egg case. I don't know if I'm just not observant, or we don't have them. Lucky you!

  2. A few years ago I saw dozens and had no idea what they were!

    I haven't seen that many this year.

  3. Oh, lucky you!! I haven't seen a mantis for years.

    I could give you some wild coyotes that will sing to you in the night. You'd have to catch 'em though.....

    We had HUGE grasshoppers this year. The chickens loved them but generally werent fast enough to catch one.

  4. Awesome!! I haven't seen any yet but sometimes only find the empty cases after they've all hatched. I love finding mantises in the garden. :o) They are the badasses of the bug world.

  5. I'll be keeping a close eye on this eye case over the winter. I'd hate to lose it to a winter storm. I'm half tempted to cut off that branch and put it in a safe place....

  6. Love the butterfly bush tree. I have a small butterfly bush I may try this with next year. I have not seen a praying mantis in quite a few years and I've never seen their cases.

    1. Hi Bonnie. Welcome. I have a lot of butterfly bushes and some get so huge every year they get in the way. So making them into tree form in spring really tidies them up and I can actually plant stuff under them. Also makes mowing next to them easier. Good luck with yours next year.


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