Saturday, September 8, 2012

Not Your Everyday Breakfast Date

Taking a little break from my "Seven" experience; I want to share a few days of interesting wildlife encounters at my home. And no, I won't be complaining about groundhogs this time. Though, I will mention that I have searched on line for smoke bombs in my frustration. But for now, like Forest Gump, "That's all I have to say about that".

I love to spend time on my front porch...the porch that my Bofren (my nickname for Buck) and I built together. It was to be the place where we would watch sunrises, enjoy afternoon rainbows and thunderstorms in the distance. We would enjoy our meals there (weather permitting) and observe the deer in the surrounding farmland, when they would come out to graze at dusk. It would be a place to watch bluebirds and fireflies; a place to dream out loud, share our lives and grow old together. But if you've been following my journey, you know that wasn't God's plan, and so, I am deliberate in utilizing this wonderful space as much as possible, in memory of my sweetheart.

I've been a bit melancholy this past week. No big surprise, since September 1st was Buck's birthday: the fourth one I've commemorated without him at my side. I still have sad days of course... like recently, when a black pick-up truck approached on my neighborhood road with a driver who looked just like my Buck. Those moments take my breath away! I wept all the way to church on my 15 minute commute. I have learned to embrace these times when they come up, and appreciate them as an outlet for any accumulated grief. I hate when it happens, but always feel better when the emotions subside.

This past week was typical, as I spent my devotional time on my glider in the mid-morning hours. On this particular morning, I ate my bowl of oatmeal as I enjoyed a sunny spot on the porch. There was a flowering plant on the little table next to me and I inspected the dainty white blossoms as I savored my morning meal. As my eyes traveled across the greenery, something almost transparent caught my attention at the base of the plant. My eyes kept scanning as it dawned on me what it was. The very next moment, I was startled by the large Praying Mantis that had obviously just shed this fragile skin shell. I've been spotting his relatives in most of my gardens and hiding in my Moonflowers. I'm so glad to see this hungry sentinel occupying my beloved plant life!

Meet Camo, as he appears to smile and wave while touching my camera
I was curious about my new friend and invited him to climb onto my hand. I had just finished my breakfast and it occurred to me to offer an oat to the only insect that I know of that isn't an enemy of one of my garden crops. I was captivated as I watched his little mouth parts munch away at my tiny offering. I raced for my camera to capture the moment. I found my friend to be very photogenic and cooperative, and was thrilled that my camera could seize this unique opportunity with such clarity, using an automatic setting at such close range. Close enough that Camo (yes, I named him) was actually touching my camera in some of the pictures during the photo shoot. It was so much fun, and brought me great joy!

Camo munches away on my oatmeal
Though this week produced some emotional shrapnel, I'm choosing to focus on the blessing that God gave me to share with you today. My encounter with Camo was just one of the precious gifts I enjoyed this week. I hope you enjoyed my experience and my photos. I can't wait to share my "show and tell" pictures with my grandchildren! It's so refreshing to know I have a friend in my gardens! Now, if only they had an appetite for stinkbugs! More about that next time.


  1. I, too, have a special love for porches. Bob and I used to sit out on our front porch out in the country. Then I would go next door and sit either in the white porch swing or white rocker with my parents on their front porch. Your pictures of the praying mantis are so good. Thank you for sharing your thoughts - especially the part about your grief trigger.

  2. Hi Candy. Porches are a special environment aren't they? I'm sorry your grieving process included having to let go of two of them. But you still have the precious memories to carry in your heart, from all the wonderful time spent there with your Bob and your parents. We too, planned to purchase and hang a swing, but didn't have time enough. Someday, I will make it happen. I pray you are doing better as you cling to the Lord each day. So nice to hear from you today! I have missed you and my other blogger friends. Hugs for you, dear one. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Renee, we have another topic to talk about. I love porches. John