Praying Mantis in a Fall Oufit

There was a praying mantis in the bushes by the entrance of my apartment! I get excited when I'm able to see this type of bugs right here, it's like being in my garden back in Virginia! 

I like praying mantises, because they are one of gardener's best friends.
Why? Because they eat the bugs that make our beautiful plants look all bitten and ugly. 

When I'm in my garden and see  praying mantis, ladybugs, spiders or frogs, I got super happy. 
One, because they will eat the bugs that I don't want in my garden. 
Two, it means that my garden is growing in a healthy ecosystem.
 That things are happening as close as possible in a organic manner, instead of putting a bunch of insecticides and killing good and bad insects. That's not good! 
Plus, those chemicals smell terrible!

If you follow me in Instragram you have probably seen a picture of a mantis I posted some
 weeks ago. Well, I'm not sure if this is the same one. 
But I think it is, since it was in the same bushes. Right by the entrance of my apartment.

Except that this time it got a very clever camouflage outfit, a fall outfit. 
It blends in really good with those brown and green bushes as the background.

I'm even considering using some of these pictures to play I Spy.

Do you like to play I Spy? 
Yes? Good! 

I spy a mantis!


Monarch Butterflies

Me being a gardener, I had to develop some type of friendship with insects. 
I like to take care of plants for their beautiful flowers. And at the plants is where a lot of insects live. 
Even wasps! There is no way I will leave my garden just because 
Mr. Wasp decides to make his home at one of my plants! 
And no, I never got stung by a wasp... yet

But this post is not about those types of insects, This post is about the beautiful Monarch butterfly. 
Monarch butterflies are insects, but not just any ordinary insects. 
First of all,  Monarch butterflies are the only insects that migrate. 
These beautiful and delicate butterflies fly 3000 miles south for migration. 
If they were born on the west side of the Rocky Mountains, they go to California.  
If they are born in the East side of the Rocky mountains. they go to Mexico.

Pretty cool, right? And it gets even better. 
Monarch Butterflies go through 4 life stages, and 4 generations.  
I know it sounds confusing, so let me explain:


1.- Egg  2.-Caterpillar 3.-Cocoon 4.-Butterfly

After spending the winter in the warm at California or Mexico. 
They return to the north around February and March.
 Then on March and April they lay eggs on a milkweed plant. 
Monarchs depend on  this plant. Their larvae eats Milkweed almost exclusively!


First generation butterflies eggs are hatched, they become baby caterpillars
 and do nothing but eat, and eat! 
Then they'll find a place to hang on to, and become a chrysalis or as I like to call it, a cocoon. 
10 days later, after going trough the process called metamorphosis, butterflies emerge. 
They only live for 2-6 weeks and then they die, after laying eggs for the second generation.

Second generation butterflies are born some time in May or June. 
This generation will do the same as the first generation and will die after laying eggs for the third generation.

Third generation butterflies are born sometime on July or August. 
They will become beautiful butterflies, lay eggs, and die.

Third generation butterflies are born sometime on July or August. 
They will become beautiful butterflies, lay eggs, and die.

And then finally comes the part that fascinates me the most about these amazing insects!

Fourth generation butterflies are born some time on September and October. 
But this generation will not die 2-6 weeks after its born! This generations lives 6-8 months. 
And the reason why the live that long is because they have to migrate back to Mexico or California.  
Then they will fly back in the exact same route their ancestors took! Who told them that? 
Also Sometimes, they travel  back to the very same tree that their ancestors 
came from in February and March!  

These pictures were taken at a parking lot across my apartment complex. 
A couple of weeks ago, there were butterflies all over Omaha!

One more thing, Monarchs that return from Mexico don't stop at the Immigration Office, because they were born in the US and that makes them, US citizens!

I have other posts if you like to see more of my pictures on butterflies
  here is a Mariposa, here are some pictures of interacial relationships on butterflies,
 here is the black-swallowtail butterfly and my first post on butterflies, zebra-swallowtail butterfly.

Also, I found a lots of info about this beauties here. check them out!
They have some really cool videos of about these butterflies!


Patch Work From the Air

Would you look at this colorful patch work Nebraska farmers make!

Some weeks ago, I had a terrible need to go to Virginia. So I bought me a ticket and off I went to the East Coast. So easy to just pack and go to Virginia!

 I wish I felt the same way about coming back to Nebraska! So when the day came to return, I woke up and quickly tried to go back to sleep. In hopes that it was a bad dream. 

It didn't work! I had to head back to the Midwest.  
There will be a post about that trip coming up soon. 

In the mean time I want to share with you this beautiful view from up in the sky.


I don't know which river this is, because there are two rivers in this area, The Platte River and the Missouri River. 
I was very close to asking the pilot at the time I got off the airplane!

These pictures makes me think of a huge quilt with some type of zig-zag needle work.

When the airplane was getting close to landing , I could seen the houses and the trees.  A different type of beauty  from what I'm used to see when the leaves change color  in The Appalachians Mountains.  But here in the Great Plains the trees are still green, it's the crops of corn and soy beans that are changing colors.

In the picture below I was able to capture the  pad that the crop Irrigation System makes. Ha, it looks so tiny from up there!

I like to take pictures from the airplane's window. It might be that I don't travel a lot.  

Or just like some other "friends of mine", we love to capture moments either down here on earth or up there in the sky. 

Check them out at Flickr blog's post, Abstract flightscapes
They also have a group called "Window Seat Please". My type of "friends"! :) 
This site its full of pictures from up in the sky! 

Or you can just stay here and read all my exciting blog!


A Yard Sale Got in my Way!

                  I was driving home from picking up my son, when I saw a sign that said "YARD SALE".

What was I supposed to do? I had to follow my internal GPS!

 And next thing I knew, I found myself at some people's back yard full of tables with goodies. 

Anyway, this is my loot. If are you like me, that likes to go to yard sales and find good stuff that will be useful. Then you know the feeling I have right now. I will be using all these goodies very well.

Lets start with the flower vase. Winters can be boring and colorless! So here I am like a squirrel, getting ready for the winter.
My plan is to fill my place with color this winter. My go-to colors are yellow, red, lime green, pistachio green and black. This base will fit right in!

Now, the portable lamp. I was about to go to Lowes for one. Who knew if they were having a red portable lamp! But hey, I found this one for only a dollar!

About the fishing gear organizer. Well, I already have a pile of thread spools in a organizer but  it's too hard to get into. That $5.00 organizer will do a much better job at it!

A butter dish will always come in handy.

As for the saw, I thought It would be cool to have a little saw for the delicate little things that I need to cut.  I find that electric ones will often damage little things.

That 10c. knife will do a great job at cutting the edges of my yard!

And finally, a 25c. measuring tape. This one is soo cute! And not to mention, it's Made in the USA!

The cinnamon color hand was Hecho en Mexico (Made in Mexico).