Good Find

Today started unseasonably warm—an incredible 60-degrees—but slowly fell back into winter by nightfall. While the sun shone this afternoon and the temperature descended through the 50s, I wandered deep into the field. There, amidst matted goldenrod and thorny weeds, I had an unusually good find: several egg cases laid by praying mantises. Each one may contain as many as 400 tiny mantises. Like me, they will wait for a more lasting warmth, relying on spring to bring the field to life once again.

16 thoughts on “Good Find

  1. What a treasure for you to find. Praying Mantises are very rare in the Western side of the Washington State. They do habitat in Eastern Washington but I have never seen a live specimen. Your sketch and information on the P.M. is very informative. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with your viewers.

  2. Your sketches are, as always, exquisite! I had no idea what a praying mantis egg case would even look like. And I wonder how many more people would just walk by them without being aware of their existence.

  3. How wonderful! What a find! Beautiful depiction, too. When I was very young, I found one as well. My mother allowed me to keep it. (With much trepidation) not knowing what it was. About a month later they hatched. I was excited. My mother relieved. We happily let them go. I’d forgotten this till I read your story. Thanx so much.

  4. Jean, you never cease to amaze me! Your knowledge of the natural world is wonderful. I had a visit from a mantis last summer and took some good pictures. They like to pose. I don’t think I have ever observed those ootheca and might have just thought it was some sort of gall if I had. Another learning experience and lovely images.

  5. I had to read up about praying mantis as I hadn’t any idea what they were! They are not resident in the u.k. but they do look amazing and so well camouflaged. I need to be more observant when out walking. Lovely depiction as always.

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