Menagerie Monday: Hello, Dahli—ah!

Thanks, in large part, to the continuing drought we’re experiencing here in New Zealand’s North Island, many of our garden plants are quite understandably shutting down  to conserve water and energy. But last week, before our Dahlias faded, I found another (South African) mantis on one of the blossoms. It was, fortunately, a calm day, which permitted me to use relatively small apertures, which require slow shutter speeds, to get some good detail. The flowers have now completely wilted, so I think it likely that these will be my last Dahlia photos for what’s left of the summer. But I may be wrong: When the rains finally do come, the flora may stage a return. I’m hoping that they will, and that it will be soon. The meteorologists are saying that if there’s no rain in the next few days, the drought will set a record. As usual, click on a photo to see a larger, more detailed image.

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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16 Responses to Menagerie Monday: Hello, Dahli—ah!

  1. Vicki says:

    Sorry to hear your drought continues. We, in Australia, are now getting the opposite – floods on the north and north-eastern coast. Even in Melbourne, we’ve been fortunate in the last few days.

    Still, much of my balcony garden, has died or is dying and I pulled out. The rest has been revived by the last 2-3 days of rain and I managed to get enough herbs and leafy greens for a salad tonight.

    Perhaps the rest of the world should start praying for rain in N.Z. now. I wish I could send some rain across to you.

    Superb shots of the mantis. I’ve only ever seen green ones, so this is a delightful colour.

    • krikitarts says:

      We could use the prayers. I’m thinking I might do a study of the cracks in our “lawn,” as that’s one of the foremost locally-related environmental concerns at the moment. It’s great to read that you have, at last, had your rain relief.

      • Vicki says:

        I read on F/book that the Gyoto Monks were even offering up prayers for relief of the suffering of all the insects and animals in our bushfires, Gary. Perhaps you could drop them a line and ask for the prayers to be redirected for some rain in N.Z.

  2. Meanderer says:

    Sorry to hear about the drought there, Gary. Haven’t heard it mentioned over here on any of the news channels or social media. I do hope you get some refreshing rain very soon. We’ve just had our second storm in a week due, in part, to an extremely strong jet stream, and many parts of the UK have flooded.

    I love the character of the little mantis who seems to have taken the colour of that beautiful dahlia :-)

  3. Peter Klopp says:

    First of all, I like the amazing macro photography of today’s post. Then your there is your concern about the drought in your neck of the woods in NZ. It seems to me that there are extremes worldwide in our climate. Vancouver had the most rainfall and where I live we had the most snowfall in decades, which means flooding for many places in BC, when the snow begins to melt.

    • krikitarts says:

      Thanks, Peter, I do love it when the critters allow a macro session. Yes, the climate extremes are a constant concern, and it seems that the powers that be can’t yet seem to agree on the necessary drastic measures to try to bring it all back into some semblance of “natural” balance.

  4. shoreacres says:

    The color of the mantis is lovely. It’s interesting that it matches the dahlia so well. Does mantis color change to match their surroundings, or did this one just chose the flower — perhaps for camouflage? Of course, it’s just as reasonable to think there was a tasty snack lurking around, and the nice color match was happenstance.

    • krikitarts says:

      Thanks, Linda, I’ve often wondered if they are able to “chameleon” themselves to match the foliage on which they choose to foray, and haven’t yet found the time to research the possibility. Anyone able to help here?

  5. bluebrightly says:

    They’re so much fun – I’m glad you had good conditions to make these photographs. It’s interesting how well the mantis blends in, even though it has such a distinctive shape. Like Linda, I thought it matched the surroundings – but I have no idea if they’re able to change color at will.

    • krikitarts says:

      A quick bit of internet research seems to indicate that their color changes when they molt, but also that they are able to change–to some extent–between green and brown between moltings, but that the change takes some considerable time for them to accomplish.

  6. Adrian Lewis says:

    Beautiful pictures, my friend. Very sorry to hear about the drought – its just about the opposite here now, with serious flooding!

  7. Nice shots, Gary. I don’t know why, but I haven’t seen a mantis in about 35 years. So I am envious of yours. OTOH, I am not envious of your drought and hope by now it has rained or will do so very soon.

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