Events are causing our government here to take extreme and sudden measures to try to slow the spread of the pandemic. Although we here in New Zealand have been—so far—extremely fortunate with the disease’s progress, compared to many other parts of the world, we have had 102 confirmed cases (as of 2:30 this afternoon), and our Prime Minister has escalated our status to Level 3, and decreed that it will go to Level 4 (Lockdown) in 48 hours, very probably for at least 4 weeks: a very scary prospect.
As life as we know it suddenly goes crazy, however, life in the garden goes on as usual. Yesterday morning I removed a net that was protecting our black Doris plums from the fruit-loving birds that frequent our small orchard and, as I was rolling it up for storage, I found that this 1.5-inch long immature female mantis (Miomantis caffra) had chosen to stay with the net rather than on the tree. I had just brought home a bouquet of what we think are chrysanthemums, and their centers matched the mantis’s color so well that I thought they would nicely complement each other. I hope you agree! (Click to enlarge.)
In this time of frightening stress and uncertainty, may we all be kind to one another, support each other, settle down and embrace all the protective restrictions, and pray for rapid medical and infrastructural progress and for wise decisions by all of our leaders.
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That last image is amazing. Makes me feel like an insect myself.
Yes, may we all be kind to each other and perhaps, embrace the restrictions as a time to spend more quality time with our immediate family.
And to undertake any number of little (and big) projects that it’s been so convenient to postpone.
Thanks for these incredibly beautiful macro shots of the flowers and the praying mantis! In the spirit of love and compassion for each other, we will weather the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic. Have a great week!
Thanks Peter, if we all do our part, we have the best chance of seeing it through.
The mantis is praying and so should we. I thought of you, Gary, when I saw the news this morning that New Zealand was going on lockdown for a month. Leaders in different countries and regions are making different decisions, but I agree that we all need follow the rules they lay down and live with what I hope will be only temporary inconveniences.
It’s the only way we have a good chance of a best-case outcome. I plan to go through lots of photo archives searching for buried treasure and playing (and composing) lots more music. The worst, by far, is not being able to have any personal contact with the 4 grandkids until the restrictions can be relaxed somewhat. And (as you said), like the mantis, I also plan to do a lot more praying.
The color combination is wonderful. Apart from that, who wouldn’t smile at that mantis? They’re such delightful creatures. I like the little bit of movement you caught, too.
They make me smile too. And though they are voracious predators, when I try to anthropomorphize their countenance, I don’t see ferocity, but rather curious and quizzical interest.
Wonderful pictures, Gary, particularly the last two! And, yes, I share your views: we hope for “wise decisions by all our leaders.” Here in the UK, the government is doing well in a very fast moving scenario, but I know I’m not the only one who wishes they’d started the rigorous restrictions a couple of weeks back. And Trump hopes it’ll all be over, and America back up and raring to go, by Easter – another US politician, whose name I forget, gave a far more realistic precis of the situation. Adrian :)
Thanks, Adrian, the third is my personal favorite. There’s no way any real relief can happen by Easter. Let’s be really optimistic and hope we’ll see it turning around by Christmas.
Great close up on the last, all are fine images. Is that the normal coloration of the mouth or is that a little tidbit remainder of an earlier meal? Despite all the time I spend in the fields and meadows I have yet to come across a mantid.
Those dark mouthparts are quite normal. I can easily see your suspicion that they are leftovers. I’ve checked my results from other recent encounters, and it seems that they all have them. Good question, though!
These are really nice shots of this amazing insect, Gary!
They are amazing from almost any angle. I consider them among the most fascinating of the common insects, although there are so many more uncommon ones that most of us have never heard of, and there are some really bizarre ones out there!