26 August 2018


We went out to stack our recently delivered firewood yesterday. The weather is much cooler, so it was not such an unpleasant task. Problem is, my back has been really hurting for the past four or five days. I couldn't help Walt with the stacking as much as I wanted to.

As I gave up — I could feel my back muscles tightening up and starting to ache — I came into the house through the greenhouse and above is a photo of what I saw in there. It's the first time I've seen a praying mantis, called une mante religieuse in French, in years. I posted photos of the only one I've ever seen here back in 2009. The mantis is a Mediterranean insect that has been introduced in North America.

Here's a photo of our house that I took yesterday morning. I was standing under some big trees that grow on the north side. Walt was still stacking wood. They predicted some rain for us yesterday, but we got just a few drops — not enough to do us any good. The landscape looks like California in summertime right now. It's brown and parched.

Finally, I'll post a photo of Natasha that I was able to take while I was outside. She gets very excited when we go outdoors, and it's hard to get her to keep still. Tasha is now 18 months old.


  1. If you can do them, I recommend cat stretches for the back. My own back is quite tricky, but doing these regularly (I don't do them every day though I should) makes a significant difference.

  2. Thanks. I've had back-pain troubles for nearly 50 years, off and on. These episodes are often short-lived. I hope this one won't last long. No real improvement today, however.

  3. What a great picture of the praying mantis. He's a beautiful green.

    Maybe your yard is as brown as northern California, but not southern lol. We haven;t had a drop of rain in what seems like ages. Looks like Walt did a nice job stacking the wood.

  4. Sorry to hear about your back hurting, Ken. I hope it clears up quickly.

  5. I love praying mantis and learning its french name. I hope your back is better soon.

  6. The mantis looks like a piece of green vegetation, which I suppose is the idea. Nice picture.
    Hope your back improves.


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