The South Field

Praying Mantis laying egg case

Mary Lee Epps

The South Field at ICNA is particularly beautiful at the moment and I encourage you to come and visit it while the grasses, wingstem, and thistles are glorious in the early autumn light.  This month's Virginia Native Plant Society self-guided plant walk is a good excuse to walk this trail sometime over the next two weeks (you can find out about how to take this walk at our website.   And if you keep your eyes out you might find some animal wonders happening in those fields.  The migrating birds are active this time of year, the butterflies are attracted to the plants and you might even find a praying mantis laying her eggs.  That is what Mary Lee Epps found the other day and has shared this photograph.  In my many years of watching praying mantises, I have found many ootheca and even been there to see them hatch but I have never seen this.  Apparently it is a very slow process and may have taken her a good portion of the day to complete.  Thank you Mary Lee for sharing!

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