Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Twofer Tuesday--recent visitor

This preying mantis stopped by to visit the other day. I found her on my doorjamb, and spent some time with her in various poses. In the spirit of Twofer Tuesday, here are three sets of two photos, and two true stories of mantises past. A warning, the stories might be a bit gruesome--but they do involve first graders.

When I taught first grade, most years we had a preying mantis as a classroom pet. She would live in a tank in the classroom. Preying mantises will only eat live food, so the kids would catch grasshoppers during recess to feed her. It was quite a sight seeing several first graders chasing through the playground with butterfly nets. Both boys and girls were great grasshopper catchers.
One year for Open House, the parents were to visit their children's classrooms where the teacher was to explain the curriculum. That day I was ready with math and reading handouts and all the materials on display, but I also made sure that the kids had collected a good supply of grasshoppers. Just as the parents came in, I dumped the grasshoppers into the tank.
The parents were gathered to listen to my presentation, standing around mostly because first grade chairs are--well--not adequate for most adult behinds. Now, I probably could have made the curriculum a bit more interesting, but then, my plan would not have hatched if the parents had been totally engaged in the rigors of phonics and math facts. One distracted dad was looking around, and spotted the preying mantis in the tank--a wiggling grasshopper under each arm.
My presentation came to a swift conclusion as every parent in the room had to gather round to watch Miss Mantis bite the heads off each grasshopper in turn.

I think it was a different year when our young part time janitor Frankie stopped in the room one afternoon as he was sweeping and proudly told me that he had brought my preying mantis a brother the night before. I quickly went to check the tank. Yep! Only one big green insect.
You see, preying mantises in captivity should be kept isolated. Out in the yard they have enough space to enjoy each other's company--or not. They are territorial. I don't know how much territory each mantis needs to itself in the open, but it is definitely more than one large fish tank. You see,if more than one is put in the same container, they become cannibalistic.
You sometimes expect teen aged boys to appreciate a little bit of violence from time to time. It was, perhaps, a bit too much violence for Frankie when I told him my preying mantis had eaten his preying mantis. I can still see the look on his face.

By the way, these guys do look like they are saying their grace before those grasshopper meals, so actually their name is praying mantis. But don't you think their behavior justifies their being preying mantises?

Twofer Tuesday is Jonna's inspiration. Two related photos or groups of two. Today, also two true stories. I hope they weren't too violent for you.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Day Three

A continuation--and conclusion--of photos from the Breast Cancer 3-Day in Seattle September 12-14.
Day Three started out with packing up camp and loading our gear. Those pink tents actually did fit inside their bags if you did it right. They almost fit if you didn't.

We were bussed across Lake Washington, starting our walk through the Arboretum to the University of Washington campus. UW had won their football game the day before AND it was still pledge week, so our route through Greek Row saw lots of celebration going on. Did ANY of those kids sleep Saturday night?

The privilege of carrying one of the 3-Day flags should not be taken lightly, and is a good reason for a photo op.

Here I am having my foot taped. Each pit stop had a crew of medicos, docs, physical therapists, nurses, chiropractors--all volunteers.

A tear comes to my eye seeing this devoted older couple again.

A cheering area was designated along the north shore of Green Lake. That is where I met up with Kim, from Seattle Daily Photo. She recorded the occasion here. Be sure to click her link to more pictures to see me doctoring my toes.

Always welcome.

We had lunch at Gasworks Park.

And this lady near the park had her own bubbly cheering station.

One of our pit stops was just next to the dock for Kenmore Air's seaplanes. A gentleman who had just flown in came by to say that from the air, it looked like a pink ribbon threaded through the city.

Once all the walkers had arrived at a holding area in the Seattle Center, we organized (I use the term very loosely.) for our procession into the stadium to celebrate the conclusion of the walk. (I just realized that I recognize the room we waited in. In other times I have attended a major quilt show there.)

Friends and family awaited in the stadium to celebrate with us...

...as once again, we raised a shoe in salute to the survivors.

Before the week is out I will post my non-photographic impressions--my debriefing, so to speak.

Monochrome Monday

No, I haven't given up on Odd Shots. You will find my Odd Shot post below this one. Please make Odd Shot comments there.

Aileni has been hosting Monochrome Mondays for a few weeks now and I decided that this is the perfect photo to render in sepia tones for my first entry. We met this old fashioned photographer with his antique camera during a hike in July. He said he thought he ought to use a camera as old as he is. I thought I saw him again today (Sunday) but the gentleman I saw, though wearing a similar hat, was shooting with a digital. When I told him I had thought he was the man with the old-fashoned camera, he knew who I was talking about, having encountered him from time to time on various trails.

Odd Shot Art in the Park

This is the home of Odd Shots.
Comment here to let others know you are participating this week.
For Odd Shot details, click the Odd Shot logo in the sidebar.

The Washington State Arts Commission has an extensive program of Art in Public Places and it is not uncommon to see a variety of sculptures in parks around the state. We saw a number of these pieces as we walked the 60 mile route of the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk in the Seattle area earlier this month. This one in particular seemed very apropos to the occasion--resembling the "porta-potty squat"--an exercise very popular at the pit stops along the way.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Okay, so here is a question for you:

Would you take your parrot hiking in the mountains?


Why didn't I take a picture?

Maybe it was because my mouth was hanging open as she told us that we were the first ones who had ever told her--in all her hiking with her bird---that the rule that pets did not belong on the trails applied to parrots, too.

Sunday's Psalm--26th Sunday of Ordinary Time

R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.

Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,

guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.

Remember your mercies, O Lord.

Remember your compassion, O LORD,
and your love are from of old.
The sins of my youth and my frailties remember not;

In your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.

Remember your mercies, O Lord.

Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.

He guides the humble to justice,
and teaches the humble his way.

Remember your mercies, O Lord.

Psalm 25: 4-5, 8-9, 10,14

1-Paradise Inn, Mt. Rainier; 2-Eastside Trail, Mt. Rainier; 3-sunset Lassen Nat'l Park; 4-vegetable plot, Redmond, WA; 5-foggy view, Burroughs Mtn Trail, Mt. Rainier; 6-Golden Mantle Squirrel, Sunrise Rim Trail, Mt. Rainier;7- Ohanapecosh River, Mt. Rainier; 8-morning at Ohanapecosh Campground; 9-art in the park, Kirkland, Wa; 10-Silver Falls Trail, Mt. Rainier.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Up, up and away...

If you are looking for a Camera Critter, he is in the third picture down
--but I hope you will stay to see the rest of the launch.
Prosser Balloon Rally
Thirty balloons gathered for the nineteenth annual Prosser Balloon Rally this weekend. If pictures are worth a thousand words, then here is my novel. The last two pictures are loaded in full size so they will enlarge if you click them.

"They won't let me go. I have to stay here in the pickup. That doesn't seem fair at all. I do get to chase, though. That's a little like fetch at least."

Camera Critters is hosted by Misty Dawn. You will find other critters if you go check out the Mr. Linky there. You will have to look for other balloons yourself. I'm sure they are out there somewhere.