Saturday, December 13, 2014

Special critter and others...

On Monday morning I walked, as usual, up the road to meet Marita for our daily 6 km walking exercise. As I glanced down, I noticed a rather large preying mantis in the long grass. When Marita arrived, and I showed her, she suggested I fetch my camera and snap this beautiful creature. Which I did (Michael walked back to the corner with me, and afterwards took my camera while we continued with our walk) 
The striking preying mantis I saw on the road outside our property
Sensing that we could be danger, the mantis stood up on its hind legs...
...and portrayed this threatening position

On Sunday, Grant and I went out at about 10am. As we rounded the explosives magazine, we saw several likkewaan (monitor lizards) sunning themselves beside the fence.

This one became skittish and started to creep through the fence into the enclosure

Then it turned tail and shot past the front of the vehicle and into the bush on our left

As we left the mine and entered the bush, I saw a small lizard on the road next to the car. Grant stopped, I got out and took photos. 
A much smaller lizard after seeing the Likkewaan above

A little along the road, we saw a movement in the dust ahead of us. It was a Van der Decken's Hornbill taking a sandbath.
Van der Decken's Hornbill (male) 
Taking these photos from quite a distance (so as not to disturb the bird) and through the car's windscreen, made for blurriness
Waiting for a herd of cows to cross the road in front of our vehicle, I snapped this animal as it came out of the bush to my left

I'm linking my post to Saturday Critters with Eileen, which you can visit here

Here's wishing you all a wonderful weekend.


  1. wonderful preying mantis! wow! love the lizards, too. :)

  2. I think I'd be a little startled if a cow just popped out of nowhere.

    Praying mantises look different here.

    Have a good weekend.

  3. That preying mantis is really something. I've never seen such a great close up before and have never seen one live.

  4. Fascinating creatures. I have never seen a preying mantis like that one before. He is a real beauty. Great shots of all your critters. Happy weekend to you!

  5. Hi Jo I didn't know you did a 6M walk every morning. I would have to take me camera with me! That was a great shot of the Praying Mantis. I loved seeing the Hornbill. Now I have never seen that one. Have a wonderful weekend.

  6. Hello Jo, your Praying Mantis is cool looking.. Great captures of it standing on its hind legs.. I always enjoy seeing the lizards and the cute cow.. And last my favorite is the Hornbill taking the dust bath.. Cool series.. Thank you for sharing your critter post and linking up. Have a happy weekend!

  7. Your praying mantis is so interesting looking! I'm particularly fascinated with the photo of it threatening you.

  8. Exotic insects and animals all, not surprisingly! The mantis didn't let his size keep him from threatening you and he does look pretty scary!

  9. that praying mantis is amazing to me. not like ours at all and love the sand bathing bird... also would love to have to stop and let a herd of those cows walk in front of me.

  10. Enjoyed your critter post and had to go back to your profile to remember where you lived... since some of those critters (praying mantis especially) look so different from ours. Thanks for sharing!

  11. So much wonderful life to be seen out in the bush. That mantis is extraordinary. Good thing you aren't small.

  12. Your Praying Mantis is amazing. The Chinese so admired the Praying Mantis, they studied him and created a style of martial art based on his fighting skills. He does look like a Kung Fu master in your photo.

  13. What amazing creatures. Love that threatening mantis shot!

  14. I love all of these, but the praying mantis is especially wonderful! Tanzania is on our list of places we want to visit!


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