So this summer is an experiment to see if I can stock the fields and garden with praying mantises. I’ll have to say, I haven’t seen any of the released mantids but I wanted to say a few words about my history with this insect.
My paternal grandfather was a doctor and he had a fellow physician who liked to give books as gifts to his friend’s children. And one of these gifts was a very handsome edition of Fabre’s Book of Insects to my father when he was a boy. Well, in my turn I inherited this book and I was fascinated by the author’s scientific investigation of the common insects to be found around the fields of Provence, France and charmed by the very attractive illustrations that adorned its pages. In fact I still enjoy looking through the book and seeing these pictures eighty six years after it was published. And I’ve provided copies of the book to my own grandsons to try to capture that same sense of wonder at combining nature and art in a form that a young boy can enjoy.
So I’m juxtaposing the original inspiration of my interest in the mantids with my own modest attempts to document their fascinating existence.
So you might be saying to yourself, “Boy, that’s a weird looking one. What was he thinking putting that up?”
I’ll make a story out of it. Why not? It was a sort of an oddball day.
As I’ve noted, we’re in the silly season and I couldn’t bear to read about Joe Burden telling us about how he rassled with Vlad the Impaler and forced him to raise the price of oil to a thousand dollars a barrel to save the world from green house gasification.
So I spent today outside digging some weeds and planting some seeds and playing around with the camera. In fact I spent so much time that I lost track and actually filled up the 64 Gbyte memory card I had in the camera. Now it wasn’t empty when I started, far from it, but I got so wrapped up taking photos of bugs and flowers and mosses and mushrooms that I definitely took way too many shots. And that’s why someday I will have to do a massive purge of bad and mediocre images. I have something like a million files and I could easily get rid of 75% of them if I had the heart to face that task.
Believe it or not I have images many times worse than the ones I put up on the photo of the day! So I had to stop and empty out the files onto the desktop. But then I got distracted. I started looking through the images and I started liking some of them. And then I got playing around with them. I’d crop them mercilessly to see some tiny corner or center that had some geometric or pattern thing going on. And before I knew it the day had disappeared. But it was fun. So I figured I’d share the reverse order of what I was doing today.
So as you can see even weeding has its moments.