Happy Easter everyone! This morning I was out on my 16 mile training run on the trails of Jubilee State Park when I came upon not one but TWO Easter Bunnies. At first I was admittedly a bit startled. Not so much that I would come upon them in the middle of running the woods, but they didn’t exactly fit the model. Sure, both had two rather large ears, but wasn’t expecting them to each have 6 legs, 2 arms and stand 6 feet tall! One of them extended a Happy Easter and then offered me a chocolate rabbit pulled from a leather pouch. “We are playing Easter Ambassadors and offering treats to everyone we see in honor of our Savior’s rising.” I extended my appreciation for the thought, but passed – can’t imagine the gooey mess that would be by the time I finished the run. We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. Note, this happened at mile 14.5 so assuredly the synapses were experiencing some fatigue, however, the large “U” shapes and the ummm… let’s go with presents left on the rest of the trail provided some evidence to the encounter. By the way, those bunnies must east a LOT! Made it home and thought I would get a post out in recognition of the special day and, of course, relay the events from earlier in the day. Spent a significant amount of time going through the 3+ years of backlogged images only to come up empty – NOT A SINGLE BUNNY PICTURE IN THE QUEUE. At a loss, I decided to hold a Cadbury tryout to see what would be the official substitute for the ’21 Easter Bunny. First up…
WTH, that thing doesn’t even have fur. “..but look at my big cute round eyes and I have Praying right there in my name”. Uhhhh nope. Next.
Welcome to April everyone! Bonus time is now replaced with monthly quota time so I get to start the trek to 6 posts once again. Figured I could at least get one out of the way seeing as how I’m just sitting here trying to recover from a difficult training run this morning – first of the young season two loop pass through the hills of Springdale for a healthy 13 miles (also took the second loop in reverse to make sure the legs were totally drained by the end). I also know my brother Ron is out trying to add to his bird count right now so opted for a devious subject
I know for a fact that Ron is not fond of the Praying Mantis based on his decision to wait an extra month to turn the page on our EddieSoft Gallery calendar so he could skip looking at the one we selected for our annual product. You can view the previous featured post on the Mantis back in Sept 2010 (link here). Note, the Mantis shot from that first set added a blue ribbon to our collection (link here). Hoping that after viewing this new set he might be in enough trauma that he will prefer to stay inside rather than risk a personal encounter – ha.
Okay, we’re down to the final hour with all the marbles on the line. Let’s do a quick check 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, …. 5…. oh crap, I’m down a post. What to do, what to do. Actually, there are no worries, I have been loading up my SmugMug site with a ton of pictures. One of my recent favorites is a set of macro shots I took on our porch a few months ago. I was was walking on the porch one sunny day when one of the more interesting insects decided to take a stroll on my siding.
Probably out of the insects I come upon around here, the praying mantis is the one that fascinates me the most (the stick bug comes in a close second). From a photographer’s perspective, they have a nice vibrant color and a ton of cool features that pop out nicely under the macro lens. They have a number of dynamic features ranging from the hook like feet, highly articulated legs and fine hairs running along the edges. The best part of working with these specimens is that they are fairly docile and do not tend to panic at the presence of a camera glass shoved close to their face. Speaking of which, this one was practically posing for the glass.
In case you are wondering, in this particular shot he is gnawing on his own foot. Check out the creepy pupils. They can track just about anywhere around the eye bulb and basically remained on me the entire time, regardless of what position or angle the camera was in. Here is another on of the face with the pupils transitioned up to the top of the head. Based on nature’s law, typically, animals with such range of vision are considered the prey where the more forward fixed animals fall in the predator range. By that rule, one would think the mantis was somewhat docile, but the male mantis probably has a different opinion of that seeing as how the the female rips the cranium off of him after mating.