Today Nala shed her final skin to become an adult mantis! You can see the skin behind her. The large blob by her foot is a moth, it doesn't realise that when she has 'hardened off' her skin and is ready for action she will go moth hunting...
I found Percy asleep against the glass today so I got my microscope camera out. The first picture is the underside of his toes. The second picture is of his funny thumb that looks like a flower, The third is his tummy scales and the last one his beautiful eye. It's hard to get a good shot without turning the camera light on and then it reflects off the glass. Need to try some different ideas...
My spiney mice like to cuddle up together when they sleep to keep warm. This is what they would do in the wild. For some reason Buttercup my smallest female likes to sleep on top of her sister, sometimes back to front. It looks like Blossom is wearing a bizarre nightcap...the expression on her face looks like she's not that impressed. I don't think anyone really wants to sleep with a bum right in their face! I like this picture partly because it makes me laugh, and partly because you can see the amazing 'hedgehog spines' very clearly.
I (sadly) found a dead blue tit in the garden, and took some pictures with my new microscope camera. The first picture is a close up of the feathers on it's cheek, the second picture is it's back claw. Amazing!
I was amazed to find this little one wandering around the giant stick insect cage this morning. I had adult leaf insects ages ago and they mated and laid their eggs. Six months later this little one hatches out. ( I keep eggs in a pot in the big cage so babies have access to food and water as soon as they hatch). I've never bred them before so it's really exciting! I was able to use my new camera microscope to photograph her, she's tiny!
Toothless came out for a mini-photo shoot today, and I couldn't resist letting him have a stroll up the wall at the end...
He has 'fired up'(the technical term) his colours to maximum as he's really excited. Sadly he didn't catch any fruit flies today as there were a few about, maybe next time Toothless!
I found this in my garden..it's a Cabbage Looper caterpillar. It makes a 'loop' with its body as it moves which is very cute! It will form a chrysalis and them emerge as an Owlet Moth. They are supposed to be a garden pest but I think they're really pretty. It would be a tasty treat for any birds in my garden. Can you find one in your garden?
Our new kitten Pan spat out a baby tooth today. You can see the white triangle and the bit that was in the jaw. He didn't seem very bothered! I couldn't believe how tiny it was so I photographed it next to a penny. He is 6 months old, so he will be losing the rest of his baby teeth in the next few months. He is chewing EVERYTHING.
This is Petal on the left as a full blown female Orchid Mantis. She has just climbed out of her skin on the right. She has shed her skin many times to reach this stage. She will now live for 9 months to a year or so before she dies of old age. The hardest part of keeping a mantis is balancing high humidity with good ventilation. I wouldn't recommend this mantis for a beginner, but there are plenty of easier ones out there!
Here is an awesome drawing by one of my Year 6s, of Biscuit licking her eye. Crested Geckos have a fixed, clear eye-lid, so they can only clean them with their tongue...it sound yucky, but it's really cool to watch.