Sunday, 5 February 2012

Giant bee-eaters

giant bee-eating praying mantis
  • long cayene
  • tomatoes - 2 punnets of berries and cherries (unsplit)
  • tomatoes - 1 punnet (split)
Planted out
  • punnet of baby basil ( raised from seed)
  • a tidy up in the patch 
What a beautiful day, warm and sunny, not too hot, just hot enough. A bit of light pottering in the patch was the order of the day.

Some of the tomatoes had sprawled a little too much and I removed the sprawling bits so that other things wouldn't get smothered. Needed to do a bit of weeding, what with the rain things were a little out of contol but soft damp soil made for simple removal.

long cayene
The long cayene needed a bit of staking -  it  too had got a little too leggy and needed some support, but in staking it I accidently broke some branches that were heavy with fruit. Damn! Serve me right for delaying the staking!  Anyway I have saved the fruit and will probably make green curry paste next weekend.  In the meantime they are in the freezer. Its such a shame - I would love to have seen them red.

Today's unsplit  tomato pick
praying mantis in rosemary
More wildlife?  We get the most amazing giant praying mantis in our garden. I saw one again today. One year when the lomatia was flowering heavily I sat and watched a giant praying mantis hunt the bees that came to the blooms. It would freeze near a flower head and wait patiently (what anthropomorphism - how do I know it was patient!) and then stike with its barbed long front legs and quickly snap the bees onto its barbs. It would then eat the bee head first. What would it do with the barb at the end of the bee, we wondered? Surely it would throw that bit away? No -  the praying mantis ate every scrap of the bee.  I watched it facinated for at least half an hour as it, one by one, ate bees.

Since then, each spring and summer we have spotted numerous giant praying mantis in the garden and noticed its egg cases positioned on those plants that have prolific flowers across the garden.

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