Melissa Fischer. wild in Michigan. naturalist


A female snapping turtle recovering her eggs before heading back into the Thornapple River.

The first Monarch caterpillar of the season. They're so tiny they're hard to spot on the milkweed.

The tadpoles

I spotted this praying mantis cocoon in the garden. It was probably laid last fall and will hatch soon. I spotted it while checking on the cocoons my friend Kelly gave me as a birthday gift.


9 responses

  1. Yay! A cocoon! So happy you finally found one. We will be headed to the park today to inspect the undersides of milkweeds in hopes of securing a monarch friend.

    June 21, 2011 at 8:23 am

  2. melissakoski

    I had a friend in Ann Arbor say she found 5 the other day so I looked a ton yesterday. I saw the little holes, but no caterpillars the first few times I looked. I finally found one later in the day. Good luck today gangsters! It sure has been fun checking on my bday cocoons. (:

    June 21, 2011 at 9:09 am

  3. Just looking at “random posts” on your blog and am completely jealous that you spotted a Praying Mantis Nest. I’ve been on the look out for one in the wild for about 3 years. If I had a bucket list it would be on it.

    March 30, 2013 at 1:34 am

    • melissakoski

      I replied to this days ago on my phone and my lengthy response was deleted accidentally at the last moment so sorry for the delay.
      Spotting a mantis always seems like a seasonal blessing since they rarely venture far. They’re easy to check on regularly, but that also makes it hard after fall’s first cold frost when they are no longer in their regular spot. Hope you are well!

      April 1, 2013 at 10:17 pm

      • No worries. Thanks for the reply.

        Have you noticed they tend to nest in the same general vicinity year to year? I remember the location I last spotted one. (2 years ago). Perhaps I should SCOUR the area if they don’t venture far year to year.

        April 1, 2013 at 10:44 pm

  4. louisva

    Excellent as usual and you, once again, have made me smile! I love watching the praying mantis but this is a first – seeing a cocoon. Of course, one could have wrapped around my head and I still wouldn’t have known what it was. I know what I do have: 4 more great “dusting pics” for my “Melissa Folder” which will bring me to a total of 492 Lisa pics ! Thanks and PLEASE don’t send a bill for copyright infringement!

    March 30, 2013 at 11:31 am

    • melissakoski

      Consider it a birthday gift dear Louie Lou! We had the first beautiful and warm spring day on your birthday.

      March 30, 2013 at 11:35 am

  5. louisva

    Another thought came to mind. Kristen was coming home from work a while back and as she approached a creek we cross on our road a turtle appeared. As is her habit, she stopped to move it off the road but after nearing the critter; she noticed its head looked a bit different and the tail came to a point (unlike our normal Eastern Box Turtles). She debated what to do when along came a neighbor in his country cadillac (a pick-up truck as they are sometimes called around these parts) and he graciously pushed the critter back into the stream with his steel-toed work boots.

    March 30, 2013 at 11:45 am

  6. louisva

    THANK YOU, Lisa! I am glad you had a nice spring day on my 33rd . . . uh 43rd . . . uh OK 63rd birthday! We also had a sunny day with a high of 60. We have had an unusually cool spring thus far. On the 28th of March, my cherry tree is usually in full bloom but it still has very tight buds. A few weeks back, we had some great 70 degree type weather then along came an unexpected 2 inches of snow. That makes for a whopping 5 inches all winter with most being just dustings. Thanks again for the BD present!

    March 30, 2013 at 11:55 am


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