Nature Friday ~ September 6, 2019

Let’s hear it for the arrival of our close personal friend, Friday. This is also when (after a hearty welcome) we join our friends, Rosy and her brothers from LLB in our Backyard and stroll around Blogville checking out the beauty of Mother Nature.

It’s been a busy, if not shortened week and I’ve been somewhat derelict in finding a lot of new blooms to share so let’s take a look at some of of the our insect friends, pollinators and predators around the Ranch.


Honey and bumble bees are our best friends in the garden; they pollinate flowers and create that scrumptious nectar, honey. I’m not sure what that little stick-like bug is just to the left of this bee but he watched that bee working for a long time. I think he’s some sort of ‘voyeur’ bug.


Moths and butterflies are also big pollinators in the garden. This colorful guy was filling up like a thirsty SUV. Check out the schnoz on that dude. You’d think he was drilling for oil.


The Plumbago is in full bloom right now and the bees and butterflies are grateful for the tasty smorgasbord being offered.


Known for their triangular heads, bulging eyes with flexible necks, long bodies that may or may not have wings, all Mantodea have forelegs that are enlarged and perfectly adapted for catching and griping unsuspecting prey. Their upright posture, while remaining stationary with forearms folded, has led to the common name “Praying Mantis.” I couldn’t get as close as I wanted without scaring this bad boy off (thus the lousy image) but was so excited so see him in the garden that I named him Harvey. I’d never seen one before in person. Mantis generally wait for prey to venture close by and only eat live prey. Because they lack any chemical protection, they often stand tall spreading their forelegs and fan their wings out to make them appear larger and more threatening. Mantises lack chemical protection, so this display is mostly a bluff. If pursued, they may slash their captors with raptorial legs. They are a fascinating garden predator.

Spider web

Some garden residents build remarkably beautiful homes. Around the Ranch, those intricate structures often don’t last long. Whenever I happen to absently walk into one encounter one, too often I start simultaneously screeching while wind-milling my arms like a maniac trying to remove the web from my face. The neighbors no doubt think of me as that crazy dog lady who flips out with spider webs. I’m really not an arachnophobe and find spiders quite fascinating, but that close-to-invisible, Velcro-like fiber turns me into an arm flapping weirdo. It’s a wonder I don’t lift off the ground trying to get that stuff off my face.

Whatever you do this weekend, I hope you are able to get outside. Mother Nature is still offering a whole lot of wonderful and should be enjoyed. If you live on the east coast, we hope you stay safe and dry. But before you go outside and savor Indian Summer, don’t forget to check out the e-shop for items including the recently published BarkBook chock full of easy to make tasty recipes, stylin’ bandanas, hand-painted note cards, and “Scrubbies” (which work great as exfoliators on uprights or work hard cleaning your veggies or around the house in general).

Live, love, bark! 🐾

57 thoughts on “Nature Friday ~ September 6, 2019

  1. Insects are fascinating, but really, I’m not a fan of encountering very many of them. LOL. I had to laugh picturing you with the spider web, especially since my reaction is the same! However, I’d freak out even more encountering the spider that lived in it.
    It’s good to see the pollinators at work! We’ve had a good summer for bees and butterflies. They did their job in the garden, it’s just too bad Mother Nature didn’t provide more warmth to help things grow better!

    1. They really are fascinating…from a distance. 😉 Most of the ones in the city who spin webs are small…still I absolutely can’t stand running into their houses.

    1. Sadly, they don’t sniff, they just chew up. Flowers, tree limbs, wires…nothing cute about that.

    1. They are incredibly fascinating. There’s a big migration of them in southern Colorado in the melon fields.

  2. We’ve had bunches of mantises (manti?) here. Love those guys. They protect our veggie garden. They are quite docile and I move them around to places where I’ve noticed bad bugs. They seem perfectly happy to be picked up and transplanted. The big ones like to act tough and posture like they will take off a finger.

  3. That Purrayin Mantis iss speck-taculer Miss Monika! Mee had a See-cayda sing to mee last week…wee nevurr got a photoe tho’! An THE Butterfly iss fuellin upss to go to Mexxyco mee thinkss…..
    Yore flowerss are so purrty; no wudner so many Beess an inn-sects come to vizzit THE Purrfect Garden!!
    ***purrsss*** BellaDharma an {{huggiesss}} LadyMew

    1. It’s too embarrassing in front of people walking by-they can’t see the web, only a wild arm flaying crazy person. 😬

      1. Walking into a web face first is pretty “yucky”, that’s for sure! Nothing like it for giving me the creeps. But when Ducky does it, I can’t help but laugh. She backs out of the spot she’s in with spider web wrapped around her ears. So I have to sit there and wipe it off. I ought to take a picture next time – IF I can remember.

        1. I’ll confess, I chuckled just reading about it. A photo would be ‘pawsome’ for us dog-moms, not so much for the pups. Hope you’re staying safe and dry.

  4. We have a mantis in our yard. They are fascinating insects for sure. I don’t like webs on the face either. Your arms windmilling description made me laugh out loud. Happy weekend

    1. Happy to provide a smile at one of life’s major indignities. Happy weekend to you as well.

  5. Wow..what a fun selection of backyard beauty! Living in Northern Cali, we have LOTS of spiders…and webs. I’m learning to keep my eyes wide open at all times, but I know how you feel and have walked through my share of webs, blech!

    1. It’s especially worse at night when you can’t see them. That’s when the real insanity show happens. Typically there seems to be a correlation with the number of webs to the moisture content we’ve had. Which means, not nearly as bad. But when you ‘find’ one, I think I’d do backward cartwheels to get it off me! 🤪

  6. I love your approach to the topic, nature provides us with allies against harmful insects. Too many people try to destroy the spider. Walking into a web is something I have never experienced.

    1. Walking into webs mostly happens in the evening or at night when I’m taking the dogs out for that final constitutional. I welcome spiders in the garden-goodness knows it’s a spidy’s dream habitat.

  7. Beautiful plants, beautiful critter and I do the same kind of dance when I walk into a spiderweb. Creepy.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. ♥

    1. The spiderweb waltz is no fun, especially for someone like me with two left feet! Here’s wishing you a pawsome weekend.

  8. We have praying mantis around here. If I’m not mistaken, the females operate the same way as black widow spiders.
    Walking into a big spider web with your face… shudder.

  9. Getting that close to a Praying Mantis, how cool!

    And I agree as per the spider webs, they’re artwork and I love studying them. Walking right into one? Not so much, LOL

    1. Why thank you. It’s easy to overlook some of the workers that make beautiful gardens possible.

  10. oooo I do not like walking into webs. We used to walk into them hanging down under trees in MD! LOVE praying mantis, and have seen very few here in CO. Only a teensy little baby one once.

    1. I’d never seen one either so this was a special treat. Webs frequently track with moisture, no naturally there haven’t been as much this summer.

  11. What fabulous shots and commentary, Monika! You had me smiling and laughing all the way through.
    There is nothing,and I mean nothing, like walking face-first into a spider’s web. Gah. Impossible to NOT look like a raving lunatic, I think…
    Have a splendid weekend!!

    1. It creeps me out just thinking about it. I can’t stand that tickling on the skin, especially around my face!

        1. It’s especially creepy when I let the dogs out at night. Talk about going completely off the chart bonkers. AWK!! 🕸

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