Monday, April 8, 2013

Treasure in the Garden...

Spring has sprung...it's closing in on 80 degrees this afternoon!  Wow!  What a difference just a couple of days make.

I have been outside most of the day today...trying to make some order out of the chaos which is my perennial bed.  Sorry, no pictures.  It's too pathetic!

Every year about this time, I wonder why I didn't clean off the debris from last year's flowers in the fall.  However, once again, just like every other year, I was reminded of why I waited.

Do you know what this is?


This is one of more than a dozen (at last count) Praying Mantis sacs that I found clinging to last year's debris. If I would have cut off the flowers last fall, I would never have seen them, and they would have been discarded.  That would have been sad.

I saved the sacs that I found, attached to their twigs, and tucked them safely away inside of some bushes and tall grasses that won't be disturbed.

What I find especially fun about finding these treasures, is remembering how the Praying Mantis found their way into my perennial bed.  Eight years ago, when Eric was in second grade, I helped in his classroom every week.  His teacher, Mrs. Bauman, had lots of fun things for her students to do, including terrariums to tend to.  In one of them, she had a Praying Mantis sac.  When the babies hatched, she sent me home with a baggie full of the tiny insects, and I let them loose in my garden.  The rest is history!  Every spring, I look forward to finding their eggs sacs, and though they're great at hiding, later in the summer, I occasionally see one that has reached adulthood.

You can read about the Praying Mantis here.  They're wonderful insects to have in your garden!

9 comments:

  1. I wait to clean up my perennial beds until Spring, too. Was snipping and carrying away today. If I leave everything over Winter, it collects the leaves that blow through, and helps to build up the soil.

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  2. Very interesting. I wonder if they winter well in colder climates.
    JB

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  3. Oh I love praying mantis and I had no idea what that was. It is true you do learn something new everyday. That is a nice way to get them in your garden. Hug B

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  4. I always enjoy seeing them in the garden but I have never spied the sac. I usually surprise one out of hiding when I'm watering and I always tell it I'm sorry and try to spray around it! :)

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  5. How nice and what fun. I am so glad you have your garden full of them. I am also so glad you are having 80 degree weather!!!

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  6. Oh my gosh! I would never have guessed, and to know that they are living and breeding there... that's COOL!

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  7. I always loved looking for praying mantis egg cases over the winter months as a child! We would store them safely on the back porch, checking every day when it started warming up to see if the tiny hatchlings were out yet. Thanks for the memory!

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