She’s beautiful, isn’t she. Hiding out in the clover and all the grass stalks and the knapweed tangles and all.
Preying Mantis in the Weeds
She had a friend with her, but I can’t show her to you, because she slipped off at ground level and vanished into the look-alike seed heads of the grass while a big vineyard truck trundled by and diverted my attention. All in all, I made a dozen attempts at an image. The one above is the best. Most, however, were blurs in the grass. The one below is worth sharing, even though it’s hopelessly blurry, because its content is so amazing:
Preying Mantis With Eggs In a Chamber in Her Chest
The eggs, such as this one, were only revealed when she spread her arms to move around her clover stalk. Perhaps I surprised her in the act of laying her eggs. Perhaps she was plundering the newly-laid eggs of her so-called friend. Perhaps those aren’t her eggs (although they sure look like they’re bursting out of her in all directions) but lunch. Doesn’t look like lunch, though. It looks as if at this point in her life she is all egg.
A search on the Internet brought me hundreds of images of mantisses laying egg cases in a tidy way, but nothing like this. Here’s a different angle on that, even more blurry. A moving mantis is a hard target in the weeds.
And here again, with the egg hidden…