Most of our late-season Mantises (or is it "Mantids"?) have gone brown in order to better blend into the landscape, but this one has kept her green coat. Given her surroundings, the green coat was still appropriate, even on what proved to be the tomato patch's last day before it got pulled out and dispatched to the compost bin.
Our green guest was not the only one to enjoy her supper from the garden yesterday. While cleaning out some of the beds, I gleaned the last of the little grape and pear tomatoes. About two cups of these little gems, combined with some hardy African basil (also from my garden), some diced red onion, good olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt were served with some excellent toasted crusty bread and fresh mozzarella for a tasty supper of bruschetta. It seems fitting that we enjoyed our first and last tomato harvest of the season in the same way.
As I look forward to a sunny day in the 70s, it's hard to believe that today is the last day of October. Temps supposedly got down to freezing last night, but we still have not had our first killing frost. From where I sit, I can look out into our courtyard garden and see Impatiens still in bloom. (I can also see out to the barn, where a couple of little donkeys are keeping watch for me to come out and give them some hay.)
Before I go visit the donkeys, here's a quick tip from a lazy gardener. In our remote location, we get no trick-or-treaters, so I don't go in for Halloween decorations the way I did in the 'burbs. But, if you happen to have a planter that became overgrown with weeds, thanks to your going on vacation and general inattention, and then the weeds died thanks to a drought and even more inattention, you can just plunk a big pot o' mums smack on top of the planter (anchored with a plant stake, if you must) and call the dead weeds a "design element." As Count Floyd would say, "Oooooh, spooky!"
Happy Halloween, everyone!