I have recently been participating in a meme called Camera Critters. It has been quite enjoyable, and I have met a few new bloggers that I hadn’t before.
I don’t know if I am allowed to feature two different critters in this meme, but there have been so many wonderful critters posing for me this week that I am going to post about two of the most outstanding ones.
The first critter was brought to my attention by my niece, who had stopped by on her way between Columbia and Springfield. She was out admiring the vineyard and happened to notice a praying mantis in the orange trumpet vine that is right next to it. By the time she got me out there to look at it, it was dark, and we couldn’t see a lot of detail. We thought initially that the mantis had been caught by a spider, but ultimately what turned out to be the case was we had caught her just after she had finished shedding. What we thought was a spider attacking her was cricket who was so anxious to eat her shed skin he was helping peel it off of her.
The picture shows the mantis hanging upside down in the vines, resting after the exertion of shedding her skin. Up in the corner, you can see her recently shed skin along with the greedy cricket which is busily eating it.
Trust me, she is definitely alive, just very tired. I nudged her with a stalk of grass after I took the picture just to be sure, and she gave me a dirty look, fidgeted and as much as said “Could you leave me alone, please?”
Now, I just can’t resist posting this next picture, even though it is a trifle risque. Jim was the one who took these pictures. While this action was going on out on our lawn between the sauna garden and the root cellar, I was busy giving a massage.
I don’t like to anthropomorphize too much, the first shot of these two Eastern Box Turtles looks just too sweet for words.
Don’t they almost look like they are kissing?
Turtle sex takes a long time to accomplish. An hour after these pictures were taken, when I got out of my massage, they were just finishing up.
Holding that position seems to be a little bit of a strain.
I thought I’d take a few more shots, but by the time I went back into the house and got the camera, they had finished their mating game and both had left the premises. I didn’t spot the male, but the female had moved off to the pile of dirt we dug out of the vegetable garden paths. I was only in the house five minutes. Anyone who thinks turtles always move slowly hasn’t observed them when they want to get someplace.