Thursday, July 11, 2013

Baby Mantis

This is the smallest praying mantis (Mantis religiosa) that I have been able to document...perhaps around 5/8" long.
 They are typically found in the boxwood shrubs on the north side of the house. They manifest themselves during the dog-days of late summer when the shrubs are in need of watering.  They don't seem to appreciate the shower as it forces them out of the dark inner recesses of the boxwood canopy where they hunt their prey. This baby found temporary refuge on the side of the house.

Friday, July 5, 2013

A Rain of Toads

I have noticed an explosion in the toad population this year. I did an informal survey of an area 25' x75' and within a few minutes had counted 5 baby fowler's toads (Bufo fowleri). This is undoubtedly due to the wet late-spring and summer. Last summer we had a severe drought. This year we are around 9" above our normal for the year and our rainfall at the end of June is more than last year's total for the entire year.