Saturday, September 20, 2008


It was a beautiful fall day. Although, technically for 2008, the autumnal equinox will not take place until the 22nd of this month at precisely 15:44. Well, the air, the light, the cues all around say it is fall. Our backyard I think, is quite magical at this time of year. My garden is not completely spent and still putting forth its last 'hurrah' before the first fall freeze comes along in late October. Today was no exception. I hadn't planned on taking pictures, but I couldn't help myself when I spied a rose that I had pruned a few days ago on the ground looking rather abstract. For me, images like this are akin to the symbolic images the Dutch painters used in their still life thematic paintings of "Vanitas".

But, what really made me run in to get the camera was this scene of a Praying Mantis in my bird bath (which currently is more like a bee bath than a bird bath since the birds won't come with the bees claiming it as their watering hole). Ms. Mantis had snatched an unsuspecting bee as her meal for the day. She was munching away at it in the bird bath and decided to move to a different location since the bee's comrades were not too happy with her aquisition. Click on the image to get a close up view and you'll get a good look at one of those unhappy bees buzzing above her.

Here, on the underside of the bird bath, she finds a bit more peace. As I was taking these shots, my hamstring cramped up on me (due to putting myself in unnatrual positions to get the shot). Agitated bees are flying by my head as I try to get a shot that would be in focus. Hard to do with a macro lens when the subject matter is constantly moving. Oh, and I am deathly allergic to bee stings. But, never mind! This was too fascinating to pass up!

She finally climbs down to the very bottom near the ground, away from the angry bees and finishes her meal in peace. What's even more amazing is that many years ago in our backyard, I witnessed a Praying Mantis devouring a bumblebee it snagged off of the hummingbird feeder. Eeks!


smith kaich jones said...

I had no idea that bees were eaten by ANYTHING! I am clueless!

This is a wonderful adventure - well maybe, not for the bee. But it was apparently the bee's karma.

:) Debi

robin bird said...

what a dedicated photographer you are! wow upside down, cramping leg, bee sting alert and yet... you made a good capture. BRAVO!

Annette said...

art is risky stuff.. but I am very glad you were not stung!! love the shots (err.. photos, not medical ones!)

Jaime said...

These pictures are amazing!

I've been told that we have praying mantis up north here too, but I have never seen one (in the wild). What a find! How do they grab them like that and not get stung? Prickly lunch!


Paula Scott said...

I have no idea how the manits avoids getting stung! Good question, though! I had a German Shepard in my 20's that LOVED to eat bees. It was a riot watching him eat them.


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