The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Mantis in the okra

Chinese praying mantis on okraThis seems to have been a very good year for praying mantids in our garden.  I stumbled across this green-eyed male as I picked okra for our supper on Thursday.  Can you believe how full his belly is?

No one else on the internet seems to believe that eye color is a good way to tell male and female praying mantids apart, so it's possible the field marks I noted on my mating mantises were just a fluke.  If for some reason you really need to know if your mantid is male or female, count how many segments are in the abdomen.  Males have 8 segments (though sometimes only 7 are visible) while females have 6 (though sometimes only 5 are visible.)  My okra mantis passed both the green-eye and the 8 segment test, so he's definitively male.

Check out Mark's homemade chicken waterer.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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