Prayerful Consideration

While I was walking the three beagles today, I spotted a somewhat rare and elusive creature — a praying mantis! Of course, I had three dogs and no camera at hand, so we continued on our way.

The route that I normally walk the dogs takes anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes depending on how far around the Baptist Church I decide to go, and how long of a rest fat old Milo needs in the middle. I saw the praying mantis close to the farthest point of our walk. Getting back to the house, I decided to grab my camera and head back to where I saw the interesting insect. I knew my chances of it still being there a good half-hour later were probably pretty slim, but there were plenty of other things to photograph and considering how bad my diet has been lately (I literally have eaten chocolate frosting straight out of the tub two nights in a row) I figured I could use the extra exercise! Plus, I haven’t gotten to really “play” with my camera in a long time!

Favor was upon me and the praying mantis was in basically the same spot so I proceeded to snap a few photos. It’s been very sunny this afternoon and the praying mantis was perched in shade on the branch of a pine tree, so maybe not optimal conditions for getting a great photo.

Praying mantis

Praying mantis

Praying mantis

Praying mantis

Praying mantis

Praying mantis

When I grabbed my camera I saw the extra battery pack laying there and grabbed it.  I didn’t have pants pockets so tucked it in my waistband and it’s a good thing I did because my red “low battery” light started flashing as soon as I took the photos of the praying mantis!

Bees were buzzing around the thistle like crazy.

Bee on thistle

Bee on thistle

Bee on thistle

Bee on thistle

Bee on thistle

Bee on thistle

For some reason I really like the composition of those photos.  🙂  They are not cropped at all.

There was a large variety of butterflies fluttering busily hither and yon but none of them were the least bit interested in alighting on something for a photo op. I had one chance at this viceroy. I had to crop this shot a bit.

Butterfly (Monarch or Admiral?)

I believe this is a viceroy butterfly.

I don’t know what these berries are that look like wild grapes.

Grape-looking berries

Grape-looking berries

Summer’s colors are fading away, but there are still some beautiful wildflowers about. I’m sorry I can’t I.D. these, my flower identification guides are all up north.

IMG_1758 (1024x1011)

Fading flower with lady bug.

Fading flower with lady bug.

IMG_1755 (1024x723)

 IMG_1762 (1024x768)

This red-spotted purple butterfly landed on a leaf for a few moments so I was able to snap three shots – two with the wings closed and one with the wings open. As you can see, it looks like this butterfly narrowly escaped being munched. There are fairly large chunks taken out of its wings.

Battered butterfly

Battered red-spotted purple butterfly

Battered butterfly

Battered red-spotted purple butterfly.

It seems like just yesterday I was walking this path and searching for signs of spring.  Now there are signs of fall. 😦

Leaves changing color already.

Leaves changing color already.

I love fall, but I’m not quite ready to let go of summer yet!

I practiced on some yellow flowers.  I’ve learned that yellow and white are two of the hardest colors to photograph.

Yellow flower with tiny bee.

Yellow flower with tiny bee.

IMG_1770 (1024x768)

IMG_1771 (1024x768)

I liked both those shots enough to include both of them, even though they aren’t much different.

The corn in the field behind our woods is starting to tassel. This is one of my favorite times of year because I love the smell of the field corn ripening! Unfortunately, my allergies don’t like it when the corn gets harvested in the fall.

Ahhh, the smell of a corn field, one of the many things I love about living in the country!

Ahhh, the smell of a corn field, one of the many things I love about living in the country!

I had mentioned to Mr. Tootlepedal that my impatiens have flourished this year despite my black thumbs, so I have decided to include a photo of them.

Flowerbox of impatiens and some other pretty pink and green plant I can't remember the name of. :)

Flowerbox of impatiens and some other pretty pink and green plant I can’t remember the name of. 🙂

I probably should have tweaked that photo a bit more.

I’m glad I went back out with my camera to photograph the praying mantis.  It was an hour well spent.  It’s easy to miss all the beauty of our little corner of the world when being pulled along by three dogs.

Tomorrow we head to the northwoods, so stay tuned for some new adventures!

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10 Responses to Prayerful Consideration

  1. avian101 says:

    Nice array of your surrounding areas Amy! 🙂

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  2. tootlepedal says:

    Well worth going out again.

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  3. I’m glad that you went back for the camera, as I can see that your flower and insect photos are improving! I can also see that you have some different flowers and bugs on that side of the state that we don’t have over here.

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    • Thanks, Jerry! There is quite a large variety of wildflowers along the path I take, even though it’s not very long. I’ve been glad to see some of them coming back because early in the summer the utility company mowed a huge swath back there and took down everything a good 10 yards across. Made it nice for walking but also meant a lot less color for a few months.

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  4. kathydoremus says:

    Once you start taking pictures, you “see” things differently, don’t you think? I often feel like I’m walking around looking at life through a lens! Nice photos.

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    • Yes! My problem is that now I see everything as a potential photo op but my husband doesn’t and he isn’t always real patient with long interruptions! That’s why this was nice, I was by myself and could take my time. Thanks, Kathy!

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  5. gladgardener says:

    Loved your photos, Amy. I had a praying mantis last summer living in a pot of Diamond Frost Euphorbia. I thought it amazing that he chose a plant with a leaf so similar to his body shape. And now your mantis is in the pines. Great camouflage. The flower pics were dazzling, as well. Good eye!

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    • Thanks, Carol! Yes, they like good camouflage! If it were closer to school starting, I would have caught him and kept him for the kids to see. As long as you feed them crickets, they will live in a tank for awhile. We sometimes have one at the school for a week and then release it back into the wild.

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