July in the midwest. Today: cool, sunny, wonderful perfect weather. Next week: probably 95 degrees with 98% humidity. So I spend these few bearable days in the backyard as much as possible. Here are the delights. First, squirrel under glass. Next week, this squirrel feeder will be a squirrel steamer. Hmmmm, hassenpheffer minus rabbit/plus squirrel.
And critters falling from the trees. I put my laundry outside on the wooden drying rack, and somewhere high in the maple tree, an egg sac of praying mantises (praying manti?) have hatched. If you look closely you can see a tiny mantis next to the blue vein on the back of my hand.
Let me just say that photographing praying manti is not easy. They are curious creatures, and seem to like studying me as much as I liked looking them over. But as soon as you ask the little suckers to "vogue" for you, they freak.
The critter communities in the front yard are skittish, nervous and wary, but the squirrels and birds (and that pesky chipmunk) of the backyard sit and watch me come and go and read and grill and garden...and fling peanuts at them. They beg for food and think nothing of coming within two feet of me. We are used to each other in the backyard.