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.

Bye bye Birdie

Welp, the preying mantis has moved on- to where? I do not know.

An Aberts towhee landed on the fence, dropped down onto a nail in the fence, hopped down to the ground right next to the lambs ear and pecked it as he went by.

My heart dropped. In a moment everything changed. I went out there and confirmed that the mantis was nowhere to be found.

I do have an alternate theory. When I was looking for the mantis, I noticed that a sprinkler head nearby had popped off. It is evident that water was spraying the lambs ear. Perhaps it forced the mantis to move. Maybe it is happily meditating on another leaf somewhere nearby.

I thank the little white preying mantis for it’s visit to my corner of the world and the wisdom imparted for my life.

It is a creature with intense presence for it’s tiny size and it will be missed!


I go out in the yard mid-morning to check- the birdbath is nearly dry. The lambs ear is wilted in the sun and the praying mantis is hanging upside down and holding it’s gaze in the same direction as always.

Mockingbird is with his girl hopping around up in the palm tree fronds. They’re wind surfing!

I run the sprinkler. The lambs ear perks right up and the mockingbird comes down for a drink.

I remember being so upset a couple months ago when the mockingbird and hummingbird nests were both displaced by palm tree pruning. Now they are back home and really, they never left.

We are here to weather the storm and find new life on the other side. We are resilient. Sometimes we’re hanging upside down to take cover from the hot sun. Sometimes we’re surfing in the breeze.

Be Quiet

I go outside the day after meeting the mantis to find him again in his usual spot. I take his photo. Jason comes to the back door and converses with me across the yard.

In an instant the preying mantis has turned to me. He commands that I, “Be quiet!” I snap one last photo and dash inside to avoid further wrath.

And so our relationship continues in silence. Don’t fear the mantis; listen to it.

In his honor, I have created this meme

Bird bath

Last night I saw a flash of light through my eyelids. What could it be? I got up and watched out the window. Thunder softly rolled. It sounded like hail as huge drops of rain started smacking the ground. Heat is returning to the valley. Temps are going to be in the 90s for the next month. At least it is still in the 60s at night.

Woodpecker has been in the saguaro all day. Two pair of quail shuffled through the yard this morning. We ran the sprinklers and a curve billed thrasher stopped by for a bath on the rocks where we are building a new border!

Thrasher sat atop the rock pile and rubbed itself on the wet rocks to work the water through it’s feathers. It popped onto the fence to preen then onto the ocotillo for additional preening.

It made my day.

New rock border under construction
Border complete and grass growing