Posts Tagged ‘praying mantis’

Golden summer

July 3, 2015

Friday, 3 July 2015

A couple days ago, I worked on yellow star thistle at Windy Hill open space preserve. This requires going off-trail into the tall grass, and I spent half an hour picking seeds out of my socks afterward. Today I tried a pair of gaiters that I have had for quite a while and possibly never worn before. They helped a lot, but I need to figure out how to properly fasten them down.

Los Trancos today, where I spent four hours, prevented hundreds of thousands of seeds from entering the next-generation ecosystem, and didn’t even make a dent. Foof! Only the photos made it worthwhile.


From a distance, this looked like a fox lurking in the tall grass.


I found two manti, this one in amongst the YST (that’s what we regulars call yellow-star thistle). There were probably a few thousand that I didn’t see, and if this one hadn’t moved, I wouldn’t have seen it either.


It wasn’t really happy about posing for photos, but I fired off fifty or eighty shots, and a few of them turned out not too bad.



Later on, a big spider hiding behind a grass seed pod. If it can’t see me, I obviously can’t see it. When I worked around behind it, it scurried down the stem and disappeared on the ground.


Hot day, hard work, good to bail out after a while and head for home.

Mission peak hike

January 24, 2010

22 August 2009

On the trail about 7:50. Mission peak is always popular on weekends, and I had to park further away than ever before, perhaps as far as half a mile from the parking lot. A cool, pleasant morning, just right for discovering interesting creatures.

I hiked over the shoulder of Mission peak and down the other side, but did the Laurel canyon trail rather than the complete hike to Sunol and back. Groin pain; I don’t want to aggravate the pull I had two or three weeks ago. But still, rather than hiking back over the shoulder of MP, I went on up to the top. Wouldn’t want the day to be excessively easy, and I need the exercise.

Glad I did. On the way down, I discovered only the third straw mantis I have ever found. Cool! And although I had been carefully watching for a mantis, it’s still true that I never would have seen it, had it not been out in the trail initially.

And something to look forward to: one of these weeks, it’s going to be tarantula season!