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Friday, October 23, 2009

Ripeness and Dessication

Nature is full of contrasts, never so much as in autumn in southern California. This time of year the garden is loaded (especially if you're busy and have put off the autumn trimming) with overgrown mature plant material, ripe seeds, mantis eggs, fat caterpillars, pupae, very large old spiders, huge female grasshoppers and maybe their buried eggs, as well as fresh new sprouts from the base of perennials, seedlings of volunteers and weeds, and tiny new hatchling buggies and small spiderlings.

This mature female mantis, Stagmomantis californica, is either ready to lay eggs or already has, or both. Here she is perched on a dessicated flower of rudbeckia hirta full of ripening seeds.

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