Tag Archive | preying mantis

Bittersweet Monday

 

Warm, sunny days full of color, adventure, abundance; crystal cold nights chill tired bones.

Two Kittens

 

Two kittens, playing, leap the stream,

roll and wrestle, tag and tumble,

race, chase, grab and rumble,

scuffle under oaks through last year’s leaves.

Tawny mottled bodies vanish under summer trees.

The sound of their pouncing continues unseen.

 

Dogs on the rim stand rigid, aquiver,

engrossed in the antics below.

The cats crash back from deep shadows,

reach with sheathed claws in big soft paws,

leap, stretching in a single line ~

one behind the other holding on ~

they arc and spring, spring as one

upon a sapling, bend it to the ground.

 

Long tails white-tips flashing,

graceful lithe limbs thrashing,

ungainly kittens tangle with the boughs.

Oblivious to us above them on the canyon rim,

the first leaps out across the stream;

the second sprawls in the bowed canopy,

unhurried, unworried, spraddles the limbs,

bounces; wiggles to the ground.

 

The sapling springs upright.

A gift, a truly awesome sight,

wild feline abandon:

cougar cubs at play,

learning as they leap and run

the skills to catch their prey.

 

 

Tending a friend’s home I noticed this exquisite juxtaposition.

The old Rehobeth road, last Monday night, driving to a Kids’ Pasta Project dinner at Scenic Mesa Ranch. The warm cliffs always delight, and cottonwoods in the canyon glowed yellow on green.

The Smith Fork of the Gunnison flows through a private ranch as the canyon wends its way west toward the main river.

From the other side, looking back the way we came.

Below freezing the past two nights, brrrrr, and it took me all day to warm up. The first chill of winter is always hard to accept. But a small fire in the woodstove all afternoon kept the cold at bay, and I gathered in the last green tomatoes for pickles. Romas from the farm will bake into paste tomorrow, warming the house.

Science Experiment #17: a tiny fava bean harvest taught a lot. Too much water too late and not enough in the middle, while the pods were forming.

I steamed the small beans, but even with the last of the butter they were a little bitter. Venison steak with balsamic glaze and the last cherry tomatoes saved the day.

Tenacious flowers in pots make the patio glow.

 

Biko has been coming in at night since the cold rains a couple of weeks ago. I set him out in the south gravel every morning, where he basks until he’s warm enough to move. He found his special place this morning! Raven rolled for attention too.

 

 

 

 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Drawn or spooked from its daytime lair by the sprinkler, sphinx moth visits early morning at hardy plumbago.

Things fall apart. We know that. Not nearly as popular in literature is the equally valid theme that Things Pile On. More work, more play, more food, more deep reflection. More witnessing to the wonder of Creation. My religion is Life. To all the living things! So much has happened in the garden in just this one week.

The first Sunday in Fall. True autumn has arrived. I know it by the hardy plumbago, Ceratostigma plumbaginoides.

A carpet of bright blue flowers, red seeds, and glossy green leaves makes this harbinger of autumn a sweet surprise each year.

The first fall I’ve had here in years. I will fall into Autumn gently, a single leaf, twisting, settling, to ground.

The leek flower continues to move toward seed.

“Look what you’ve done here!” someone says to me. “Look what you’ve done with the water you move, from place to place, bed to bed, shrub to tree. Look what you’ve done here, moving water randomly.”

I feel congratulated. I feel blessed. I feel comprehended. Every day, every day the garden gives me something. Whether I’m there to receive it or not. Every day this garden gives: a new beauty, a new insight, a new manifestation of divine light.

All at once the almonds cracked open on the tree. Almost all of them!

Friday evening I gathered them, and husked them.

They gave up their seeds to me, split fruit yielding shielded nuggets.

Saturday morning I shelled them, revealing tender thin-skinned meats, moist and milky with a delicate crunch.

All morning I keep finding almond husks beneath my feet. Chipmunks are finding the last few nuts, too high for me to reach.

Finally, not for the faint of heart: I caught sight of a grasshopper on the pepper, thought it was two hooked up. But no! I stopped my grabbing hand in time and ran for the camera.

 

 

 

 

It took awhile.

Eventually the mantis was replete.

And my most exciting predator prey encounter of the summer (so far) was complete.