Critters Among the Carnivores

  Going through the backlog of photos from2015, a few were put on the wayside until such a time as it made sense to gather them all together. Such was the case with photos of various animals around the Triffid Ranch greenhouse. By way of example,a regular joke around here is to point to any animal that would be wildly inappropriate as a house pet and yell “Look! KITTY!” Upon inspecting it, usually with someone in tow as a witness to her husband’s usual behavior, the Czarina tells me “No, that’s not a kitty,” finishing with a very long sigh. It’s all part of my master plan for getting a crocodile monitor for my birthday next year. One day, I’ll point this out to her at a reptile show and she won’t disagree with me, and then I’ve got her. 
Anyway, we had lots of skinny green kitties in and around the greenhouse, especially during rainstorms. Who else would be running around during a crashing thunderstorms, taking photos of sleeping lizards? 
 
 And then there was the surprise. I’ve heard of mantids camping out on Sarracenia pitcher plants, but the mantids in Dallas are so small and so rare that I’d never seen one amobg the growing pools. That is, until I went out one evening to collect seed pods and found this little girl camped out underneath a bloom cap.  
Surprisingly, she had no issues with being held, and I suspect that she liked being photographed. I saw her once more before she laid her egg case and died, but I’m holing her children are as congenial and determined to use Sarracenia as hunting blinds as she was.  

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