Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Subdued colors

with 12 comments

Carolina Mantis Egg Case 6662

Click for greater clarity and size.

Speaking of subdued colors at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on the overcast and wet morning of December 6th, here’s an egg case from what may be a Carolina mantis, Stagmomantis carolina, on a small branch of what was definitely a Blanco crabapple tree, Malus ioensis var. texana. This egg case was at most an inch (25mm) long.

If you’re interested in photography as a craft, you’ll find that points 1, 2, 6 and 11 in About My Techniques are relevant to this photograph.

© 2104 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 12, 2014 at 6:11 AM

12 Responses

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  1. Are those mantises as valuable in eating insects as their northern relatives? The finding is a valuable addition to the garden and an interesting photo.

  2. Apparently the mantis had the idea first – use foam to insulate against the cold. At first glance, this photo looks almost industrial. It certainly reminds me of valves and hose bibs, wrapped with every sort of thing when a freeze is coming. Amazing, really, the ways that nature protects herself from harsh conditions as well as from predators.


    February 12, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    • Like you, I was taken with the frothy covering on the egg case. Aside from the utility of the froth for the mantis eggs, I found its texture visually appealing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 12, 2014 at 8:01 AM

  3. Lovely sign of renewal and hope.


    February 12, 2014 at 7:42 AM

  4. Thank you for sharing nature with me. I was just thinking yesterday that when I look at trees and nature I feel calmer. 🙂


    February 12, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    • You’re welcome, Karyl. Nature is what this blog is about, so stop by whenever you feel like communing with the natural world, even if vicariously.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 12, 2014 at 10:28 AM

  5. Colours subdued, to be sure, but they are there, a touch of orange in the egg case, the red and sienna in the twig, and the bits of blue in the icy (?) droplet. Nice photo. Jane

    jane tims

    February 12, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    • It’s good of you to notice the individual colors, even though they’re subdued. I’m not sure if the droplet was frozen, but it was certainly at least on the bordeline of freezing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 12, 2014 at 2:18 PM

  6. I have a similar-ish one at home.
    has not hatched yet.


    February 12, 2014 at 10:56 PM

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