Monthly Science: Small Praying Mantis

These Praying Mantis nymphs may have emerged from the ootheca I rescued from the grass trimming operation earlier this year:

Praying Mantises in grass - 2020-07-24
Praying Mantises in grass – 2020-07-24

The closest one was about 60 mm long, with plenty of growing ahead in the next few months:

Praying Mantis - 2020-07-24
Praying Mantis – 2020-07-24

A few days later, I spotted a smaller one, maybe 40 mm from eyes to cerci, hiding much deeper in the decorative grass clump. Given their overall ferocity, it was likely hiding from its larger sibs.

They have also been stilting their way across the window glass and screens in search of better hunting grounds. My affixing their oothecae to another bush may have disoriented them at first, but they definitely know where their next meal comes from!

Perhaps as a bonus, a Katydid appeared inside the garage, stuck to the side of a trash can that Came With The House™ long ago:


I deported it outside, in hopes of increasing the world’s net happiness.

The stickers covering the can say “WPDH: A Decade of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, suggesting they date back to 1986, ten years after (Wikipedia tells me) WPDH switched from country to rock. Neither genre did much for me, so I never noticed.

Medium Turtle Teleportation: Rail Trail

Perhaps this is a relative of the tiny turtle I teleported two years ago in the same section of the Dutchess Rail Trail:

Turtle Teleportation - DCRT near Lagrange Trailhead - 2020-06-19
Turtle Teleportation – DCRT near Lagrange Trailhead – 2020-06-19

Such fancy patterns!

I’m pretty sure box turtles don’t grow fast enough for this to be the same one …

Monthly Image: Wren Traffic

A pair of wrens, having found the new entrance reducer entirely satisfactory, set up housekeeping in the front bird box and raised their nestlings.

Somehow, they manage to fly directly into the hole without stopping:

Wren - front box - entering
Wren – front box – entering

Outbound trips require a security check:

Wren - front box - exit check
Wren – front box – exit check

And away!

Wren - front box - fly away
Wren – front box – fly away

After those nestlings fledged, they began building a nest in one of the garden bird boxes a few hundred feet away. In short order, we’ll be awash in wrens!

Robin Nest: Fledging Day

The robin nestlings fledged fourteen days after we spotted the first eggshell on the driveway below the nest. The first one may have flown away the previous evening, leaving three increasingly restless siblings behind:

Robin Fledging Day - three nestlings
Robin Fledging Day – three nestlings

They’re recognizably robins now, covered in young-bird speckle camouflage.

Feeding continued apace:

Robin Fledging Day - feeding
Robin Fledging Day – feeding

After feeding, robin nestlings produce fecal sacs, which the parents either eat or carry away:

Robin Fledging Day - fecal sac
Robin Fledging Day – fecal sac

Robins aren’t big on facial expressions, but, speaking from personal experience, anything to do with diapers isn’t the high point of a parent’s day.

And then there were none:

Robin Fledging Day - empty nest with parasites
Robin Fledging Day – empty nest with parasites

The gazillion black dots on the soffit are pinpoint-sized insects / mites / ticks infesting the nest and, presumably, the birds. The earlier pictures don’t show them, so perhaps these missed the last bird off the nest and are now regretting their life choices.

Go, birds, … gone!

JPG Recovery From a Camera FAT Filesystem

You can do it by hand, as I used to, or use recoverjpeg:

dmesg | tail
cd /tmp
sudo dcfldd if=/dev/sde1 of=pix.bin bs=1M count=100
recoverjpeg pix.bin 
ristretto image00*

Nothing prizewinning, but better than no picture at all:

Garage Robin - recovered image
Garage Robin – recovered image

Note that you start by copying a reasonable chunk of the partition from the Memory Stick / (micro)SD Card first, to prevent a bad situation from getting worse.

Now I can remember the easy way the next time around this block …

Robin Nest: Nestlings!

All four nestlings emerged on schedule:

Garage Robin - four nestlings
Garage Robin – four nestlings

The oldest nestling was ready for feeding almost immediately, even with unopened eyes:

Garage Robin - Nestling begging
Garage Robin – Nestling begging

As any infant will tell you, holding your head up is hard work:

Garage Robin - Nestling dozing
Garage Robin – Nestling dozing

But doing only half the job won’t get you fed:

Garage Robin - Nestling recovering
Garage Robin – Nestling recovering

They’re just starting to make little chirps, so this isn’t nearly as raucous as you might think:

Garage Robin - Nestlings begging
Garage Robin – Nestlings begging

The adults seem to have no trouble bringing an endless stream of worms, insects, and unidentifiable organisms from the yard and garden.

Go, birds, go!