Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A New Garden Visitor

With a face only a mother could love. Or a father, in most cases. Because the belief that Mr. Mantis always loses his head when mating is apparently true less than thirty percent of the time. (Although, it also seems that he is a better lover without his head. Apparently, all his inhibitions go away.)

On the other hand, all those brothers and sisters better watch out - if there isn't enough food around, the new generation will begin to snack on each other.

Camouflaged Mantis
This praying mantis was discovered in the Aristea inaequalis, planted out in the parking strip (the purple flowers are from the adjacent verbena). The stupid Aristea is supposed to be "bloomiferous" but it hasn't done pooh-pooh). Completely camouflaged, the mantis must have been stalking its next meal.

There are a number of mantis species found in northern California. I confess that I didn't wait around for this one's eyes to change color or to examine its wing spots in order to identify it.

Until I spotted this one, I had never seen a mantis in this garden. Somehow I had imagined that sharing space with the local katydids just wasn't cool. Strange though, I haven't heard the katydids calling much since the mantis showed up....


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Updates: #5

Once again, holiday cheer arrived here in early September. Yup, the amaryllis decided to bloom. I'm happy, but I'm pretty sure that it's tired and cranky and ready for a good snooze in a dark corner somewhere. Next week I'll put it down for a quiet nap.

And if you're thinking of getting some holiday shopping in early, Kathy Kenny will be showing her collection of jewelry at Artistry in Fashion, Cañada College's annual fashion event. 

At home, my favorite watercolorist has been busy lately with painting and stuff. What stuff? Not shopping, but writing a book on how to watercolor, to be published by North Light Books in early 2016. (The only surprise would have been if it were a book on shopping, or at least how to remember to bring home all the items on the grocery list...)

The sunflowers out front were fabulous this year. They kept the bees - the new hive is next door and everyone is delighted - really busy.

And to protect those valuable seeds from the squirrelly predators? Nothing beats an old paper bag.

Monday, September 15, 2014

When Friends Give You...

Extra, unwanted tiles, make stepping stones.

And lucky me, the materials were all on hand, except for the pair of 98¢ cement squares. Yup, concrete sealer, thin-set, usable grout - I had it all. Perhaps I should open a little local building supply center in the garage? No doubt it would still take years to clean out this mess.

My benefactor? Jack Miller, architect, now engaged in re-doing his own home space (or so I assume, since I haven't seen him around much). Or perhaps he got a better idea and slipped off to Paris...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cat? What Cat? I Don't See Any Cat...#4

Ever feel like you're being watched? And you can't quite figure out exactly whose eyes are on you? And it's still early, so you're not really awake enough to bother with finding out?

But Princess the cat has already been up for hours and is dying for a game of purple sock...

So we play "Find the Cat" instead. Which involves a silly song whose lyrics consist mostly of the phrase "Where is Princess?" sung to the tune of Frère Jacques. Something that I can manage in bed while reading a book and drinking coffee. Sure my lips move while I read, but who's really listening, anyway?