Babies in the backyard

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the Top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow activates the option for a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

“What the heck is that!?”

OK, so I was washing the pollen off our patio chairs and when I laid one of the chairs on its side, I noticed a tiny bug struggling in the soapy residue in the corner formed by the frame and armrest.

I’m talking about a very tiny, pale, long-legged bug smaller than the nail of my little finger. I know because that’s what I offered it as a lifeline . . . which it readily took.

Once it started scurrying along my finger and the back of my hand, I recognized it … and was amazed. I walked over to the bush I mentioned a few posts ago, and it walked off my hand and went to hide under one of the tiny leaves.

You might or might not be familiar with the Praying Mantis (or Mantid)<<link. Now that I told you what it is, you might be able to recognize it hanging upsidedown. I was lucky it didn’t move as I went in to grab the D7500 and 105mm f/2.8 Macro lens.

Here are a few links with more information about the Mantis:

And here’s a small gallery with similarly poor photos — for which I apologize. The Mantis was in an awkward position for me to photograph and in deep shade. I used the flash for a few photos, but forgot to remove the front hood which — as close as I was — interfered with getting enough light onto the bug. Plus, it was breezy, so the shrub was in constant motion, making it difficult to lock in the focus.

Next, Greek Oregano<<link. If you didn’t click on the link and read the article, you might not know — like we didn’t — that you’re not supposed to let it flower if you want to, you know, use it as oregano.

But, this is just a plant we had from last year and we’re not thinking about harvesting it. Besides, I was more enthralled with the flowers which measured all of 3mm in diameter (the leaves are about 10mm — 0.39″) so the 3mm for the flowers is only for the larger ones.

When I saw it had flowered, you guessed it — I went and got the D7500 and 105mm f/2.8 Macro lens.

Did I mention it was breezy? These photos are from a day prior to the Mantis photos, but this plant is in the ground at one corner of the house, and the wind was whipping it around pretty good. Wind is not constant, so you have to patiently wait for a brief lull and then snap away like crazy.

Wait … what’s that fine line on the last photo? Well, of course, you can see it’s a bug’s antenna, but with the plant moving around and me not focused on the stem, it wasn’t immediately evident, especially since the part that I could see was a significant distance from the bug itself.

But, yes, it took me less than a second to figure out it was a bug and adjust my shooting focus . . .

Some of you might say stuff like “great photo” but let me tell you how difficult it was to get these.

The bug —  a Lesser Meadow Katydid (Conocephalus spp.)<<link — aided by the breeze, worked diligently at hiding from me.

It wasn’t until I looked at the next photo that I was finally able to identify it.

Move to yesterday afternoon. I went out front and was planning to sit outside and observe the rear orifices driving way too fast through our subdivision (they all live here, and I know some of them but I wouldn’t mourn their demise if one day they happen to hit each other head-to-head at their typical 50+ mph).

I can’t abide these idiots because there are kids that walk in the neighborhood and people with dogs and . . .

White-tailed deer (LINK) cross the street without first looking each way. In fact, they usually just dart across at full speed, and I know those idiot drivers don’t have the reflexes to avoid hitting them should they jump in front of the car.

In fact, I’ve not seen the mom for a few days, so I fear that she might have met a bad fate and left the fawn to fend for itself.

Anyway, I was about to sit outside when I saw the fawn cross the street and head into my backyard. I ran back in, grabbed the D7500 and 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and went out the back.

By then, the fawn was in the yard of our neighbor to our North, and hesitant.

Then I figured out why.

Do you see what looks like a gap in the tall weeds? Well . . .

And, just like that, it disappeared from view.

Good night and hope your mom is OK.

Here’s a gallery of all the photos.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at, know that it’s copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intentions, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

Note 2: it’s perfectly OK to share a link that points back here.


If you’re new to this blog, it might be a good idea to read the FAQ page<<link. If you’re considering subscribing to this blog, it’s definitively a good idea to read both the About page<<link and the FAQ page<<link.