it's that time of year

it's that time of year

a middle tennessee garden blog

finding beauty in the natural things around us makes for one happy self and a lovely life. ~marmee

dash home farm, leiper's fork, tennessee

Friday, October 2, 2009

praying mantis

as many of you regulars know we are homeschooling our youngest.

part of our science lessons have been on insects....including
the very beneficial mantids......praying mantis.

we were fortunate enough to capture a very large one about a week ago.

today we are releasing him. to go into the garden and do his job.
he eats lots of insects....we know we were feeding him this last week.

he was taking his time to leave...preening himself.

it was a great time to observe him in the sunshine.

abbey was all for letting him go back into his natural setting...
although she had made quite a friend.

we found his every move is
hard to take your gaze away from him.

finally he made it to a holly tree just off the front porch.

so we continued to watch him....

happy fall on these days of the beginning of october.


Susie said...

They are fun to watch. I was scared to death of them when I was a child.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Marmee, I'm a big advocate of home schooling. Looks like she's getting a well rounded cirriculum.

Isn't it amazing the variety of shapes and sizes in the insect world. An interesting field to study.

tina said...

You have one of those big Chinese ones too. They are something else.

Lisa said...

These creatures are fascinating to me. They watch you also. And they can be trained.

Gotta love homeschooling!!!

Lisa Q

Rose said...

I love praying mantises--they are indeed so much fun to watch! Last year I had so many in my garden it became a quest to count all the different species, but this year I haven't seen as many. My grandsons found one one day and put it in their insect cage to watch. They had a great time the rest of the day catching other insects to feed it. This is a great way to bring science alive to a child!

Darla said...

I miss homeschooling!!

marmee said...

they do seem scary by their looks but they really aren't. i am glad abbey was able to experience this first hand.
happy autumn.

Lola said...

Actually it is quite pretty. Did you notice it's eyes, they are so green. It looks as though the sun is shining through glass. They do move oddly.
I think home schooling is best these days as they don't have to encounter all other things that are going on.

marmee said...


it has been a great experience to homeschool the little one. there are so many things to explore firsthand makes it wonderful. we are now studying mammals...what fun.
the horse was yesterday.
we had a great time with the insect world and created our own microcosm world in the terrarium.
happy autumn.

Meems said...

My little E says to me yesterday, "Mimi, did you know bugs are called insects?" Smart little 3 year old hanging out in the garden with me!

I love praying mantis... such an interesting creature. We don't see very many of them around here but I sure do excited when I do. Learning is so much more fun when done in a natural setting. Sounds like you are enjoying your fall.

ShySongbird said...

What fascinating little creatures they are and your photos of them are beautiful. Abbey is a very lucky girl to have parents who are educating her so lovingly and so well!

Q said...

Your Mantis friend is so lovely.
It is wonderful to be able to study them up close.
They are difficult to photograph and you did a great job.
I call October, "Season of the Ancients." May yours be a joyfilled month.

marmee said...


i did think it was one of the chinese fellows but i wasn't 100% sure...thanks for helping id him.
they are huge and beautiful.
happy autumn.

marmee said...


we did read about the sounded greatly fascinating. in the end we decided it would be better to have him eating the insects out in our we released him.
happy autumn.

marmee said...

i like how you said,"This is a great way to bring science alive to a child!" i couldn't agree more. it makes learning so is just part of life.
how wonderful to have the grands be a part of learning about beneficals by having them watch it for themselves. we did enjoy this section of science so much.
happy autumn.

marmee said...


i hear ya.
happy autumn.

marmee said...


we agree with all the "other" stuff in school these days...schooling from home makes it quite nice. your child is safe for sure and is learning in a environment that is caring/loving.
this was our second praying mantis. the first one was small. the details on this chinese one were so nice...including the big green eyes. he watched us intently at times...really cool.
happy autumn.

marmee said...


i think learning in a natural setting is just a very natural process. you observe and then look to the field guides to help you get info. i really love being able to teach abbey in these surroundings.
your little e is learning so much and is paying attention. he will be so far ahead of the game when it comes to school.
fall is the best time of year. there is just so much life. it is so refreshing to have a crispness in the air.
happy autumn.

marmee said...


if only we could all be parents when we have experience...she is our youngest. we are having a grand time teaching her at home. it all comes so naturally in these surroundings. we had a most wonderful time with our praying mantis. observing him so closely was a special treat.
happy autumn.

marmee said...


i love the you call october,
"Season of the Ancients."
we did so enjoy our studing of insects including our praying mantis.
i loved having him so close to photograph. i have been limited to only a telephoto lens for a long while now. it makes it quite difficult to get some of the shots i want. i am asking for a new lens for regular one went on the fritz.
i am enjoying this month so much and also hope for you to have a wonderfully joyful season of the ancients.
happy autumn.

inadvertent farmer said...

What an enchanting photo of the reasons to homeschool is to have an excuse to share your home with a praying mantis if only for a week. Wonderful job on the photos! Kim

Bill S. said...

Beautiful pictures. What a good bug.

marmee said...


thank you...we did so enjoy our praying mantis friend.
happy autumn.

marmee said...


delighted to have you visit "things i love." thank you.
happy fall days.

Frances said...

A million lessons here for us all, Marmee! The mantids, and all the insect world really, are mesmerizing if we can slow ourselves down enough to watch them carefully. Even though my four kids went to public school, they were still home schooled in the subject of the natural world and are richer for it. The most important lessons, IMHO. :-)

joey said...

A handsome fella, Marmee, and fine photo shoot, lucky to spend time vacationing with you.

Cheryl said...

Hi Marmee....they are such delightful creatures. We do not have them here....they have always fascinated me. My cousin used to keep them as pets....something I personally am not very keen on.
I can remember looking into their tank, and being totally entranced by them. They are almost like a little alien.......

Abbey is a good girl releasing him....that is where he belongs but I am sure he enjoyed his short holiday........
Happy autumn my friend.....