Monday, September 15, 2008

A Post With A Warning # 1

If you read my blog you know I like nature and what occurs in real life. These are not staged photos these come from a true story that happened as posted. If your squeamish about nature pass on this one and tomorrows post. I have given fair warning so the story begins.

I was walking around the house and I see my first yellow butterfly working a Sedum plant. I ran for my camera with hopes that it would still be there. I got one shot and it flitted to a different area of the Sedum flower. The butterfly is a Clouded Sulfur (Colias Philodice) and the first one I remember seeing. This was my seventh butterfly type of the year. I was focusing in when it disappeared. I never saw it take off so where did it go. I moved around the plant and found the Praying Mantis from the other day getting a bite to eat. Why did it pick on my butterfly, why it's part of nature which happens daily.
He definitely was enjoying the Clouded Sulfur so my first capture of one ended up his capture. You now can see the inside of the wing. What a neat butterfly it was.
What was left to do but document what had happened.
So here is a close-up of the Praying Mantis preying on his food source.
I left and walked around the house capturing a very large bee and several small ones. I thought, I'll go back and see if you can see where the Praying Mantis is hiding. This bumblebee was also working the same area as the Praying Mantis.

Instead of finding where it was hiding I got it attacking the Bumblebee.
He is a quick guy and started to fill his stomach with its catch.
He was making quick work of the bee. Check out his back tattoos
Here he is almost done. I hope it wasn't to graphic for you. In a matter of 5 minutes he had eaten a butterfly and a bee. I hope its belly was full for the day. It seems to be bulging from it's treats.
Thank you Praying Mantis for the show. Now, you ask what will be tomorrows nature show. Just you wait and see.

30 comments:

Luke Wiley said...

That praying mantis was hungry! Very nice captures!

Cláudia said...

Poor butterfly! But nature is nature! Lessons learned!

hugs

Twisted Fencepost said...

The circle of life. Disgusting but necessary.

dot said...

I'm glad you got a shot of the butterfly before he was devoured. Those are the hardest butterflies to catch on camera.

Scotty Graham said...

Cool. I didn't think a praying mantis could eat so much in one sitting...

Appreciate your comments in my blog...and just so you know, there is an infinite amount of stuff to learn about Photoshop...and it keeps getting better. We saw a preview of what is coming in the next edition (CS4), and it is amazing...can't wait.

Cheers,

Scotty

Carletta said...

That was some catch for you and the Mantis!

evlahos said...

what a sad story for the butterfly and what a great diner for the praying mantis. that's the story of life

Darla said...

If you love nature, you better be prepared for what it'll show you. Great captures for you and the praying manits.

Jack and Joann said...

Whoo Nellie! What a sight Fishing Guy. That praying mantis surely was hungry to eat that much in just five minutes. But there is Karma. We got home from Kentucky and walked around the yard and discovered a very sick praying mantis all caught up in a large spider web. It was nearly gone. Jack said that he didn't know how to do CPR on a praying mantis so we left him go to his just reward: reincarnation in your backyard!

Kichu $ Chinnu | കിച്ചു $ ചിന്നു said...

awesome !!! great snaps... felt like u shud have added some more contrast to the photos...

guild-rez said...

Love your pictures..
How interesting to see the mantis in action.
I feel sorry for the butterfly:(
Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

Egads! Well, so sad for the butterfly but yes, that is the circle of life but to catch it in pictures, that is super cool!!
I'm happy though that you caught a pretty picture of the yellow butterfly in all of its glory before hand... beautiful!

RazorFamilyFarms.com said...

Wow! ACTION photography!

Very cool stuff!

Blessings!
Lacy

The Birdlady said...

Good grief! He had quite an appetite. Very cool captures.

walk2write said...

How fascinating! Did you hear anything while the mantis was munching away on his treats? If only you could have added some audio to your pics. I wonder if he chews with his mouth open or belches when he's done eating?

kjpweb said...

Oh wow! Man that is a great post and very well documented action - though sort of unfortunate for bot Sulphur and Bumble bee.
Great shots, buddy!
Cheers, Klaus

Lilli & Nevada said...

What fantastic photos you captured there, altho i don't like watching this sort of thing all things have to eat to survive.

Tommy V said...

This is nature at its best. That is an awesome catch. I have not seen a Mantis in Colorado. I use to see them when I was a kid growing up in Alabama

The Texican said...

That old Mantis is a great hunter apparently. I'm sure he's a feared site on the other bugs' radar. Pappy

Louise said...

Wow! That's a big feast in a short time!

I watched an insect documentary once about the life cycle of a praying mantis and a butterfly. the praying mantis ate the butterfly in the end. It was sad; the butterfly was an incredbly showy one, but it is life. And if any bug can get by with that without disdain from me, it would be a praying mantis. I accidently smashed one in my sliding door one day and felt HORRIBLE. Worse than I felt for the beautiful butterflies.

Back to yours... It's so amazing to capture something like that on film. And twice in one day!

Old Wom Tigley said...

Excellent posting... I can hardly wait til tomorrows now...:O)

Abraham Lincoln said...

If you look closely at the butterflies, there isn't a lot there to eat. I don't think they eat the wings. I have not seen a Praying Mantis here this year. I probably have them but just overlook them.

I published a post about squirrels and other animals and some of the problems they have. I hope you can take the time to read it. That animals suffer and we do not seem to notice seems so sad. Look at my Dances on Sunshine

Norm said...

beautiful set of photos! thanks for sharing..

sweetnorms said...

yes! pink is my favorite color, next is red and white...

Leedra said...

Well, we all know this is part of nature. We just don't usually witness it. Wait until you see a snake eat a hummingbird...that will really get you.

John said...

FG, lovely set of photos.

The Tile Lady said...

Yes, nature is nature. I guess this guy needed a good meal, and he got one! :-) Neat shot of the butterfly too. But that preying mantis is quite happy in your garden, it would seem.

TSannie said...

Those are great photographs! What a wonderful capture for you.

Got my very first photo of a mantis this summer but nothing as dramatic as these.

tipper said...

Just fantastic photos. I'm so jealous of your camera and your skills!!! The butterfly was so pretty on the pink sedums-before it met its fate.

Toni said...

That was quite some capture both for the Praying Mantis and for you with your camera