Praying Mantis Egg Case Hatches

You can easily find praying mantis egg cases in weedy fields in the fall. (Or buy them online for about $10). We’ve done this the last two years and have some lessons.

  1. If you keep them inside, they will hatch early. Like in the winter.
  2. Those cute little plastic bug cases won’t hold the babies or nymphs. They can get through the holes. The first year I only discovered they mantises had hatched when I  saw a mosquito-sized, strange looking bug on my dining room window. I spent days discreetly catching and releasing the dozens of mantises, trying not to alarm my husband, who is not as into this project as I am.
  3. The mantis eggs are in a center core of the case, surrounded by hardened foam. It’s like an airbag around the eggs. Don’t worry if the foam gets hurt.
  4. When the mantises hatch, they don’t start eating each other immediately.
  5. You should still release the tiny mantises soon or they will eat each other.
  6. If it’s too cold outside–or it is going to be–keep them alive with a fruit flies. Petco sells them by the jar in their disgusting-food-of-other-animals section by the reptiles. They will also need a wet sponge and your new fruit fly pets will also appreciate some rotting fruit.

    a pile up of praying mantises

    Tiny praying mantises pour out of the egg case.


In Defense of Flying with an Emotional Support Animal

two beagles and an adorable child get ready to board a plane. playing in device to see if they fit in carry-on space.

Getting your dog certified as an emotional support animal seems to be the way of the future. Eventually someone will come up with a way to let airlines just charge us for a regular seat for our dogs. But for now this is the uneasy truce between dog people and the airlines. Over Christmas I flew roundtrip from New York to Chicago in a way that goes against everything airlines stand for today: I paid no extra fees and had no unnecessary paperwork despite the fact that my daughter and I flew with two beagles at our feet as Emotional Support Animals. The planes didn’t crash. The beagles didn’t unpredictably go wild. They didn’t even steal any cookies.

Keep reading How to Fly with Emotional Support Dogs

Parks Service to Kill Many or Most of Fire Island Deer, Targeting Friendly Ones

deer eating corn

The National Parks Service gears up for long-dreaded killing of Fire Island deer, targeting friendly ones and messing with the species natural evolution in a world dominated by humans.

Keep reading Fire Island Deer Lovers Worried as Parks Service Kill Off Marches Forward

Bats get cold and fall onto ground in Autumn; they need a warm-up treat

If you find a still bat on the ground, don’t pick it up with your hands. It may still be alive, just in torpor from the cold weather. It may need to be warmed up, fed and placed on a tree.

Keep reading Bats get cold and fall onto ground in Autumn; they need a warm-up treat

Praying Mantis Clumsily Eats Bees in Brooklyn

Praying mantises aren’t rare or graceful, but a treat to see. How do bees not notice this lobster-like monster sitting on a flower? This mantis in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park lurked on a flower, then lunged on two bees and tore them to pieces.

Keep reading Praying Mantis Clumsily Eats Bees in Brooklyn

Puffins near Portland

Puffins, one of the oddest, most charming and hardest to see birds to see in the United States, but it’s getting easier because their numbers on Eastern Egg Rock, a southern Maine island hit a record 148 pairs in 2014. Warming water temperature threatened the efforts of Project Puffin to bring the cartoonish seabird back to its lost colonies.

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Most dog (and kid) friendly beach in New England? Plymouth

Plymouth, MA, lets you bring your dog on a summer day–which sets it apart from most of New England which has taken to banning dogs during some hours, all summer or just forever.

Keep reading Most dog (and kid) friendly beach in New England? Plymouth

Cardinals finally let me see them raise babies in Brooklyn

Cardinal Nest

Cardinals feed babies fresh bugs in nest you could see if you knew where to look in Prospect Park.

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5-0 on the Long Meadow: Cops bust French bulldog meetup in Prospect Park

The City of New York executed a daring undercover raid on a menacing group of French bulldog owners meeting in Prospect Park’s Long Meadow on a recent Saturday morning. Their crime: having their miniature dogs off leash past the 9 a.m. curfew in a park obsessed with the enforcement of dog rules.

Keep reading 5-0 on the Long Meadow: Cops bust French bulldog meetup in Prospect Park

Peter Capaldi's Leonardo da Vinci loves animals, mocks humans


With Peter Capaldi–a proven choice for the smartest man in the universe–you come away impressed with Leonardo’s love of animals and maybe a little creeped out by his anger at humans.

Keep reading Peter Capaldi’s Leonardo da Vinci loves animals, mocks humans