Just as I begin to worry that all of the mantes we released have perished, I run into one. Today I encountered a mantis who escaped the path of my crab grass weeding and hopped onto a nearby marigold.
He quickly flipped upside down and settled in on the under side of a leaf. I’m sure I’ll see him there again soon. He is about an inch long now, three times bigger than when it hatched. The color is a kind of translucent olive green.
I love marigolds because of how readily they reseed. They flower again and again, providing endless splashes of orange ruffled blooms.
The neighbor kids have picked up on my practice of deadheading, which is to remove the spent flowers that have dried up into seed pods. Now the plant will put it’s energy toward flowering again.
I sprinkle my saved seed in the very back, against the hot block wall, where the crab grass is creeping. With time and disregard, a secret little marigold garden has bloomed behind the giant agave and red yucca. What a gift!