Miss Mantis Models

Miss Mantis models
On a sunny sunflower
Sassy she can be

Miss Mantis hitched I ride on me as I made my way from the car to the house through our sunflower forest. I felt something walking around on the back of my arm giving me little love pinches. After I put down a load of books, my briefcase and some framed pictures I was taking inside, I looked at my arm, and there was Miss Mantis enjoying the ride. I put her on a plant on the deck until I got everything put away. I walked back out to the plant, and she was there waiting. I put out my hand, she hopped onto it and I took her out to a sunflower where she was a very good model. I didn’t want to leave her in the plants on the deck because the cats would get her. I had to rescue a praying mantis from the kittens few nights ago.

Barbara Price 1923 – 2021

My mom passed on today. She would have turned 98 in October. I saw her two weeks ago. She was lucid, but her body was failing her and her system was starting to shut down. She entered hospice last week, and she was more comfortable the last few days of her life.

I made the photo of her at her computer ten years ago and put it together with a photo of her when she was 20 years old working in a radio station. In those days most of the music was live, but she could record the performances by cutting records. She had a collection of 78 rpm records that were mostly commercial recordings, but among the collection were several records that she had cut during her years at the radio station. Most of the records she cut were glass platters, but she had some records that were vinyl on aluminum platters.

She had her Ham radio license when she and my dad started dating. My dad was really into radios, especially Ham radios, so while he was working on getting his Ham license he used her call. When they moved to New Mexico in the early 1950s they got consecutive call letters of W5ADX (dad) and W5ADY (mom). Dad was on his radios to the day he died. I don’t remember mom talking on the radios, but she kept her license active while my dad was alive.

I forget what her formal education was, but she was a good typist and worked as a secretary for the elementary school out here in the mid ’60s. Then she worked as a research tech for the Lovelace Foundation doing experiments on smokers, before she went to work for the YWCA in downtown Albuquerque in the late 1960s. She retired from the YWCA in the mid 1980s.

She volunteered at the Corrales Library after she retired. She read all books by all the local authors, and everyone who used the library knew her. She was active in church all her life, also. She took to computers like the radios of her youth, and had email and the web to keep in touch with friends and family.



The Owlet & The Stink Bug

Video of Big Baby Owl’s encounter with a stink bug

The night before last, both owlets flew back over to the tree by their nest. They’ve been getting really good at flying over the past couple of weeks, and we have been finding them within 100 yards or so north, south, and west of the Tangle Heat Tree. They seemed to want to take a longer flight and reminisce about old times by the nest. They have also been spending their daytimes deeper in the bosque.

Last night I went out a little before 8:00 pm. It was cloudy and windy. I walked by the Tangle Heart Tree but did not see the owlets. I knew it was a little early, so I walked down to the south beach, walked back to 4th of July point, made my way back up onto the levee, looked for the owlets but I saw and heard nothing more than the trees swaying and the leaves rustling in the wind. I walked up to Beaver Point, saw and photographed a beaver, then I walked back toward the Tangle Heart Tree. About 200 feet from the Tangle Heat Tree I thought I heard a peep. I stopped and called the owlets, listened best I could through the sound of the blowing wind, and I heard another peep. I called again, and Big Baby Owl flew to a branch about 100 feet from me. About a minute later Little Baby Owl flew up on the branch. Both of the owlets were looking out towards the northwest when Big Baby Owl flew off in that direction, out of the bosque, and landed on the lower bank of the levee. I walked toward her and started the video.

It was after 8:30 pm, and quite dark, when I started the video. I was +2 stops on the exposure, and the camera was having a hard time staying in focus. The Owlet flew up to the upper bank of the levee, ran toward me stopped, bent over, and started trying to eat something on the ground. She straightened up and shook her head. A stink bug dropped in front of her and started walking across the levee. Its stink must have tasted pretty bad because she kept shaking her head as she persued it across the top of the levee. Once she reached the edge of the bosque, Mama Owl fley by out of view of the camera and landed in a cottonwood on the edge of the bosque. The owlet saw her, peeped, and flew up into the cottonwood with Mama Owl. I moved to where I could see the owls, but Mama flew off before I could get her on the video. I was close enough to the owlet to get her in good focus, and she can be heard peeping through the wind.

Big Baby Owl in the cottonwood by the nest on Thursday night.

Little Baby Owl looking back toward the bosque.

Beaver at Beaver Point

Big Baby Owl right after she flew up on the branch last night.

Little Baby Owl joins her.

Both owlets were looking out at something to the northwest before Big Baby Owl flew down to the levee and had her adventure with the stink bug.