Reprinted with permission of The Vermont Standard
If you blinked, you might have missed the beautiful, vivid colors. They popped so quickly, but disappeared just as swiftly with the wind and rain! Oh well, we needed rain and we still have some green leaves and more subdued colors – pretty nonetheless.
A few weeks ago my sister in NY state said she had a praying mantis on her screen. Well, I couldn’t believe that I saw one this week, clinging to the cement leading down to the basement. I was curious to learn more, so I did a little research. They are so named because their front legs fold together, as if kneeling. One article referred to them as “the martial artists of the insect world”. Melissa Breyer provided some fascinating facts. Because of the placement of their eyes, they have a wide field of vision and unlike most insects, they are able to turn their heads from side to side. They are quite agile and can flip their bodies in mid-air. Their legs have little spikes that work well when jumping upon and securing prey.
Gardeners appreciate that they eat destructive insects like beetles, crickets, and grasshoppers, but they also eat bees and butterflies and possibly even hummingbirds (according to Mike Lewinski) if the opportunity arises. Bats will attack them, but they apparently put up quite a fight. And yes, according to the article, females have been known to lop off and devour the heads of the partners!
As you can probably tell, I don’t really have much news…. Please note that Tyson Library will be closing for the season on 10/10. The Calvin Coolidge Historic Site will be closing on 10/18. Unfortunately, there will be no Holiday Open House this year due to COVID.