Sunday, September 2

Thinning carrots I came across this preying mantis who scuttled away from my hand just a few inches.

We took a media fast during our five day silent meditation retreat over the long weekend, eschewing TV, radio, and the internet. But I did several Camera Meditations in the garden, and gleaned from them that it is mating season in the insect world. Also, Summer has unequivocally turned the corner into Fall. Just in the last five days, mornings have become cool enough for a vest, and bedtime cool enough for silkies. Doors and windows can be left open all day, not closed up systematically to keep out hot breeze.

Then I discovered that it wasn’t one mantis scurrying, she had a small male clinging to her back, entwined in a fertile embrace.

The more I use this new lens, the more wonder I find in the garden.

Down at the pond a dragonfly laid eggs on cattails.

This depth of field on this lens is so shallow I can’t get in focus both the head and the tail at the same time. Note the ovipositors at the tip of the tail.

As she laid eggs, I followed her for awhile, then sat back to review my shots. So I missed the real show: the bright blue male flew in, swooped her up, and flew off with her. I heard, as I was looking down at my camera screen, a staccato commotion in the rushes, and looked up to see the linked dragonflies rise from the pond surface and zip up into a juniper tree, where I couldn’t follow. By stepping out of the present moment to look at a screen, I missed the best shot of real life.





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