Green Mantis

Watering the potted cactus on the front porch and I run into my buddy!

I dash for my camera- the mantis my captive subject. It always freaks me out how their pupils follow me. I have respect for this little creature but I also do NOT want to get landed on! Photo session complete, I decide to let my buddy alone.

I peek out on the porch a couple minutes later and the mantis is POOF- nowhere to be found. I run into him enough, that I know we’ll be seeing each other again soon.

Cicadas eyes are watching you. They see your every move!

Fantastic Fungi

We just watched Fantastic Fungi on Netflix and it was awesome! Mushrooms have so many applications from breaking down oil and plastics, to bug control, to immune support and maybe the next antibiotic that slows a pandemic! Mushrooms can save the world.

The documentary explores studies on Turkey Tail for cancer, Lions Mane for dementia and of course the magical Psylocybin for depression and anxiety.

Once again, regenerative agriculture comes to mind where fungi and bacteria benefit the life of our soil, plants, animals and climate.

I’ve started using mycorrhizal fungi when we put a plant in the ground because it helps the roots reach out into the soil and bring back nutrients. It also holds water. And sequesters carbon. Good stuff!


Found a dried praying mantis at the front door yesterday; it was a blue moon. Does anybody know what that means? LOL

Mantis Returns

We were blessed by a beautiful green preying mantis this afternoon. I was pulling some marigolds that were crowding the dusty miller and disturbed this dude. He climbed up into the jasmine and watched me as he went.

This mantis is only a couple inches long, but dude is huge compared to my micro mantis friend from a few months ago. I’m flattered that he is hanging out at our house. He can stay as long as he likes!

The monsoon rains are in full swing. High temperatures are below 90 for a couple days and it stormed all through the night and today- not just 30 minutes of getting dumped on!

Cat/wasp misunderstanding

Elvis the cat gets a rude Awakening as he swats at a golden wasp! I tell him to stop it. Sixty seconds later, he jumps, runs and bites vigorously at his front paw. Almost immediately it shows inflammation, but Elvis is stoic.

When he comes to bed and kneads my belly, it looks normal. But momma knows he is only applying pressure to the uninjured paw. My poor fur baby!

He is a tough cookie; I am cookie dough.

I learn from a Pollinator Group, that golden paper wasps hunt caterpillars. I notice them in one corner of the yard and on the fig tree. They love my neighbors squash and watermelon flowers.

I also see solitary mud dauber wasps visiting the fig tree. They are hunting spiders. The wasps are helping to keep pests off of the plants.

And from now on, I imagine, the wasps will keep Elvis the cat from pestering them too! These wasps are serious about controlling pests AND pesterers! Be nice around the wasp and they will be nice to you.

Here’s a photo from the next day- still a little puffy.