A picture is worth a thousand words. Here are some recent photos from around the farm. I'm not even going to pretend to put the text in the order that Blogger puts the photos. Some of the images include:
- A menage a trois of praying mantids: two males cling to the same female. After awhile, my presence seemed to startle one male and he scurried off; then I got some rather intimate shots of the remaining couple.... These are the big mantids that are most visibly common at the farm, about 4-5 inches long. As I struggle to clean up some of the weed patches, I'm finding numerous egg cases on green stalks, confirming that they are this year's batch. I always clip these out carefully and try to keep them safe for next spring.
- A mantis of the smaller species rests nimbly on a water lettuce plant in the tank north of the high tunnel, where we capture the waste water from washing potatoes. Recently we released a school of ten tiny tilapia fish in this tank...my parents in Manhattan are sharing their high tunnel with a grad student who is doing an aquaculture/hydroponics pilot project destined for Uganda. Her fish weren't supposed to breed, but guess what....! It is great to have fish in my life again; guppies were constant childhood companions. I'd rather hang over a pond watching for a glimpse of fish any day, than punch away at silly some computer farming game. We'll move the fish indoors for the winter and see what happens.
- A classic view of the torii and willow row. At a distance, you can't tell how much of the green is that nasty Japanese Hop Vine.
- I was thrilled to have the camera with me when a goldfinch lit on a dead weed next to a blooming sunflower, as if trying out some camoflage! Two females are right below the brilliant male.
- That gorgeous yellow-flowered "hedge" is Red Grape tomatoes, setting on a mind-boggling display of blooms that will turn into sweet red fruit in a few weeks. The vines were over 7' tall at one point, but now the tops are leaning over as the weight of developing fruit bears them down. Good thing...I'd hate to have to go up and down a ladder to pick tomatoes!