Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Leona Ranch

Click images to enlarge.

I wasn't conscious of the light on this windmill when I shot it, oops. It's too dark and a bit grainy but, hey, every photographer has to shoot at least one windmill in her life.

Wes took me up to Leona Ranch today, it's a property his family used to own most of but that is now mostly sold off. He's been promising for years to take me to a little cave up there (Leona is in the hills north of Brackettville) so I could dig around for some crystals. The cave isn't easily accessible, one needs ropes and ladders, but there's a huge pile of dirt and clay outside the cave that was once inside the cave. If you're willing to dig, you can find pieces of what was once living cave in that pile.

Wes says that while they were clearing the cave (he was a little tyke back then) that they found pieces of skeleton from a Native American man, most likely Kickapoo, who seems to have died around the age of 45 and was dropped into the hole for burial. That was, at least one university's opinion on the matter.

We found some bits and pieces of the cave's ceiling and a few crystals, nothing remarkable (I was too tired to really work at it), but I got in a little photo practice.

I saw this Praying Mantis and was surprised because I'd never seen one that wasn't green. I couldn't see my screen very well when I was shooting him so I didn't know that he wasn't looking at me in any of the shots except the upside down one. Dangit! My camera's Super Macro setting is nothing anywhere in the same universe as what a real macro lens could really achieve, but it does allow for some super close closeups and I like it! I can't believe the detail I got on this Mantis' mandibles, neck and antennae. And without a tripod!

The folks at What's That Bug? identified this as a Female Carolina Mantis. So cool of them, I sent the pix to them this morning on a whim and they responded within a couple of hours.


Kim and Victoria said...

So are you officially a farm girl now?
Great photos. My dad and I used to hunt for arrowheads all the time around here, too.

Genie said...

Grass farmer girl, no less! Okay, I don't ever do anything but ride in the truck and make Wes stop so I can take photos. And I do some internet research for him. Guess that makes me just a grass farmer's wife?

Thanks for looking! And watch out for any flare ups!