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

Woodpecker eating mantis eggs

Downy woodpecker eating praying mantis egg caseThis photo is less than stellar, but the behavior is too interesting not to share.

Mark called me over to the window a few days ago to tell me that a bird was eating my praying mantis egg cases.  Sure enough, this little Downy Woodpecker was pecking away at the spongy blobs coating my peach tree twigs.

Generally, I like praying mantises (even though the ones I have are invasive species).  But my rule of thumb is that even if an animal is eating a beneficial insect, that's a good sign because it means I've created a quality ecosystem that can support top level predators.

I wonder how many of my other egg cases have been mined out?  And I also wonder if the mantis eggs have hatched into tiny mantises, spurring this attack.  I guess only the woodpeckers know for sure.

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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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I wonder the spiritual significance? Over winter break I turned to the oothica/ praying mantis egg case as a kind of self metaphor.

Now, looking at the picture, I am glad with you the woodpecker his snack. :)

Comment by Maggie Sun Feb 5 09:13:07 2012
Do you know of Ruth Stout? She seems like your spiritual ancestor...
Comment by J Sun Feb 5 15:10:26 2012

Maggie --- I'll leave any spiritual significance up to you. :-)

J --- I posted about Ruth Stout a couple of years ago. I haven't actually read her book, though! It's on my list....

Comment by anna Sun Feb 5 16:18:32 2012

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