This morning I finally got around to the long-overdue task of clipping back my Queen Anne’s Lace. It was already almost as tall as me, and the first heads to bloom were starting to lean, not to mention go to seed. So, I’m clippin’ and clippin’ and ever so carefully, because, as I expected–I had praying mantises living in there! They’re only pre-teens right now, just about an inch long, but, OH! they’re so perfectly beautiful! My favorite bug in the whole, wide world.
I pulled her out of the clippings and placed her back on the standing QAL. And RAN into the house to get my camera. The card was stuck in the computer, so I grabbed that, inserted it into the camera, fired it up, ran back outside, and of course, praying manti are not designed to be found easily. And so I couldn’t. But, I will, and will get you a photo!
So, after I made the prettiest little bouquet of Queen Anne’s Lace, chocolate cosmos, and bunny tails, I went to see what was going on in the loft. I had recently sent a few of my old birds out (any bird that hatches before December 31 automatically becomes one year old on January 1, and is considered an old bird–just like race horses, though they’re called yearlings) and one found a twig on top of the loft. He brought it in to his hen who was nesting on the floor and arranged it under herself. ‘Kay, so the reason they don’t have proper nest building furniture&supplies is because I don’t encourage breeding in the flying loft. You can’t stop the shenanigans, but after they’ve produced, I swap them with wooden eggs.
So, anyway, this husband brings his wife the twig. And another husband sees what’s going on and he wants the twig. He walked over, pulled it out from under Hen #1 and takes it over to his wife who is also "nesting" on the floor. Husband #1 dutifully walks over, recaptures The Most Coveted Twig from Couple #2 and takes it back to his wife. I was LAUGHING! The phone rang, but when I came back, a third couple was involved in the dispute. I watched for awhile, the phone rang again, but I was thinking to myself, I wish I had a video camera! Which I do–just bought it. Still in the box, and haven’t had time to get IT fired up. Soon, though. Pro’ly, like November.
Another great time to have a video camera is when the birds are staking their claim over nest boxes in the breeding loft. Sometimes one of the guys will try to take over somebody else’s box. And the battle ensues. I learned not to break it up, because it’s a territorial thang, and the true owner of the nest box, no matter his size, ALways wins. And sometimes it goes on for 10 minutes or more. Nobody ever gets hurt–damage being limited only to one bird’s pride. And a lesson learned. It takes just one time and he doesn’t pull that (stuff) any more. I calls it Pigeon Boxing.
From the Things To Do In The Spring Department–one of the coolest things I ever did was to watch praying mantises hatch. I bought one of those egg cases at Capital Nursery, wired it to my rose bush, and waited. Supposedly, they would hatch when daytime temperatures remained over 75 or 80, I forget, for a week or two. I went out there every day, and FInally! There were hundreds of little, teeny, tiny, baby praying mantises all over that rose bush! It was so much fun to run into them over the course of the summer: toddlers, pre-teens, teens, young adults, and then full blown three inchers! I was playing with my African violets one afternoon, late summer–my violet shelf has a greenhouse window near my kitchen door going outside. I was standing in front of the violet shelf in front of the greenhouse window, and all of a sudden, my eyes refocused and right there on the avocado tree was a huge praying mantis looking at me! He won the stare down, but what a magnificent creature s/he was!
A hundred years ago I was living in a tiny house in Curtis Park on the wrong side of Franklin, and evidently had praying mantises living in that garden, too. I say evidently, because I never saw any until that day I saw one and a half PMs breeding. Sorry to say, the guy doesn’t make it out alive. I will say no more.
If you don’t have a camera, video or otherwise, and if you feel your friends and family don’t know you well enough that you must register for gifts, put a nice digital camera on your list. And USE it! It will be one of the best records of your life together, because dearies, you won’t always be able to count on your memory.
The Dove Lady is saving up her memory for when she REALLY needs it, and in the meantime, let’s her Digital Voice Recorder, her Kodak DC290, her computer, her schedule book, and her husband do all her remembering.
And even though some consider boxing to be a great sport, The Dove Lady thinks ANY kind of physical violence contributes to the downward spiraling of the civilized world. And (tsk) don’t even get her started on cage fighting. But, just try pulling her away from Pigeon Boxing and you just might get yourself socked in the nose.