Monday, September 28, 2015

Painting and Preying (Mantises that is)

 My current painting speed is making glaciers look fast.  Just a little bit more progress on my first AWI unit - the blues jackets have been painted for 24 infantry figures and the officer is fully painted but still needs a wash.  I tried to take some close up of the officer but they came out very poorly.  Perhaps this I-phone isn't the best of cameras...

I really do need to get into painting form as my current level of production is really very poor.  The weather has just been too nice to spend time indoors.

This weekend was eventful.  On Saturday we had 30 mile an hour winds and I went to check on the sail boat and while aboard retying the sail cover managed to fall and bang my head and almost go into the drink despite the boar being tied up in the slip - it was very rough.  Still it was an ignoble way to get injured but a good reminder that going out alone isn't the best of ideas.  Has I been underway and this happened, the outcome may have been much worse.  I left the marina with and bloody head, a headache and a damaged ego but none-the-worse for wear.  For those of you who are concerned, rest assured my rock filled head did little damage to the Bucentaure's deck.

 With the weather turning crisper, wildlife activity changes on the Bay.  One of the cooler things are the Preying Mantis's who mate and lay their eggs in the Autumn.  Our pool patio area seems to be the local "Mantis Singles Bar" and we'll see them out there on a daily basis through October looking for a "hook-up".  Pictured is strapping young lad on-the-prowl.  The pavers are 2 foot squares so he was six inched long.

 A close up of our lothario with compound eyes.  Males have a mix of brown and green.  These are amazing predators and tend to ambush their prey.  I've even seen a large male grab and kill a small humming bird!

As garden protectors, Mantis's are cool to watch but not all that effective as they eat anything - both good and bad bugs.
My finger provided for size. If it wasn't mating season, I could have coaxed this nice chap into walking up my arm for a while but his attentions were fixed on a very attractive young lady at the edge of the patio (about six feet way).

And here is the objective of his affections - a striking female mantis with an alluring "come-hither" look.  Females are all green and tend to be in the 5 inch range.  Despite their smaller size they are the more dominant of the sexes and often bite the heads of their mates.  There are many traits in the animal kingdom the span species.


Michael Mills said...

You're not the only one struggling with the painting mate. At least you're doing something!

Peter Douglas said...


As long as the wound on your head wasn't part of the UberGeek mating process it's all good....

Cheers, PD

DeanM said...

Nice weather is not conducive to painting - except maybe 1:1 house painting. God to hear you survived your aquatic accident - yes, the buddy-system is highly advised in outdoor activities such as this. I don't know why, maybe it comes with growing older and less sensitive to your surroundings, but I've not seen a praying mantis since childhood. Another thing that was common to see growing up in Hawaii in the 60's & 70's were Monarch Butterflies. Every time I've gone back to visit, I've never seen them since.