16 July 2010

In the Kitchen Garden: Natural Pest Control

Praying mantis (Mantis religiosa), July 2010

Today was a great day for spying on garden life, thanks in large part to my friend Nicole's sharp eyes; in addition to this praying mantis (who is quite likely the same one Maggie saw as a smaller "baby mantis" a week or two ago) we saw numerous ladybugs and a Monarch caterpillar, the latter on one of my fennel plants. Not an aphid in sight, and in fact all of my plants seem pest-free despite my absolute ban on chemical pest control. I was amazed at how unphased this creature seemed by my lens, which was just inches away; it did crawl under the sunflower leaf it was on for a moment (below right) but was back up on top by the time I put my camera away. No doubt surveying dinner....

I've been a bit quiet this week because school has started up again and the kids are here for the week and need extra TLC because they really miss Granna and Grandpa (who went back to Philly last week). I plan to get out and about next week to practice my landscape photography (here's a great tutorial that I plan to study carefully), and to have some serious fun as well as get some great shots of the beautiful New Mexico landscape. We call this the Land of Enchantment for good reason....

2 comments:

Janet said...

They are so beautiful arent they.
A few years back I was living with my parents temp in Virginia and there was this spider web by the light up highish at the back door. I happened to see a praying mantis come up and he was very still a good while, but proceeded to grab the spider and I watched in awe as he ate the spiders head off! And that was a big fat spider too. I couldnt get over that! They are so regal too I think.

Mellisa - Chinook Jewelry said...

Wow, extraordinary photos of him!