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Posts Tagged ‘camouflage’

Among the many wonders of nature, I find camouflage one of the most fascinating. Below are photographs of owls who quite literally disappear into the trees behind them. If viewed from enough of a distance, it is practically impossible to even see them.

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If you can find the owl easily, move further away from your computer/device until it is hard to spot her, and then view the rest.

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I cannot take credit for these wonderful photos; they were sent to me in an e-mail and were collected, I assume, from around the web with no photographer given credit. I just prepped them for my blog, hoping you would appreciate them as much as I. Whoever the photographers are, thank you for sharing these amazing images online.

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We live in an amazing world. Sometimes it’s easy to see just how amazing it is.
Sometimes we have to look just a little harder.

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As I opened my front door this morning, I noticed a visitor between the door and the porch railing. At first I didn’t see him as he was camouflaged against the naturally weathered wood of the decking. He turned to look at me.

“Never mind,” I said. “You keep going and I’ll water the plants a little later. No rush.”

He took that quite literally. It was about an hour or so later that he finally made it to this side of the railing. I knew if I’d gone out when I planned, he would have been stampeded by next door’s two cats who would be eager to see me. The plants could wait.

My neighbor came over to gift me with three gorgeous peppers from her garden, and then, having gotten my camera, we admired the mantis. While we were talking, Pumpkin, one of the cats, came over to see me, brushing by the praying mantis without even seeing him. The poor guy was in total defensive position, front legs straight out and apart and trembling all over. What amazes me about praying mantises is that they don’t get out of harm’s way; they face it head on. Considering their size, that’s pretty brave.

After being petted, Pumpkin went back to lie in the sun and the mantis continued to watch me. I sent him good energy and assured him he had nothing to be concerned about. He soon tucked himself under the railing and began stalking some insect, his front legs in the prayer position, and moving so slowly it was barely perceptible. I went around to the outside of the porch for another photo. He turned that triangular head to me and resumed the defensive position.

“Bring it on,” he said.

“Only with my camera, little dude,” I replied. So after a couple shots I turned away and so did he. I’m sure he calmed down and resumed his hunt.

Here’s why the praying mantis is so fascinating –

  • The strike for their food happens in 1/20th of a second. You only see a brief blur.
  • They have exceptionally keen eyesight and can rotate their heads 180˚!
  • They catch and hold their prey with their sharply serrated front legs and usually eat them head first
  • They are carnivores, and in addition to a staple diet of insects, also eat small frogs, lizards and even small birds
  • There are 1800 species of praying mantids around the world; 20 of them live in North America
  • They are very beneficial in that they keep the insect population down, so if you see one, admire, appreciate, and leave him there.

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