March Squares; the theme is #SpikySquares

Another new (to me) photo challenge!! This one is from a lovely blogger named BeckyB. I’m an instant fan because I see lots of cat photos on her site.


So you want “SPIKY“, eh?? I’m pleased to introduce you to my SPIKY pets! Well, SPINY anyway.

Now I just have to figure out how to make a photo square!




We always have a large crowd of mourners when one of our Spiky friends passes on…

could NOT get this one square!
We honored the Queen

For more on these Giant Spiny Australian Leaf Bugs, please visit my blog. I write about them shamelessly…a lot!

Thanks for the Challenge! What FUN!




Don’t let the barbed wire put you off!

Names for WPC 1/7/17


She goes by several names…the Goddess, the Queen, “Diana”, or many just call her YIKES!!

Her official name is Extatosoma Tiaratum

In the 7 or so years I have raised them, she is my biggest and longest living Giant Spiny Australian Leaf Bug so far (almost 2 years) and she is really amazing. He body is fat with eggs and if I’m not careful I will have a huge invasion of babies next summer!

You can read more about these amazing creatures on these posts…

Back to those BUGS!

Transmogrify for WPC


As for her REAL NAME, I simply lower my head and call her Your Majesty!

Transmogrify for WPC


…is “to change in appearance or form, especially strangely or grotesquely; transform.”

And one of our instructions this week for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is to”create a gallery, with a series of photos showing a metamorphosis in progress.”

Well, I haven’t shared my beautiful (or maybe grotesque…eye of the beholder and all) BUGS for a while. You can read about them here:   and here

Back to those BUGS!

But for today’s topic, here is a slideshow showing their transformation. (By the way, the featured image at the top of the page is of a pile of eggs. They are not normally on my carpet but this photo is of the remains of the one and only unsupervised encounter between my bugs and my cats. Even though it is Halloween I won’t torture you with details of how those eggs got from the laden belly of the mature female bug onto the rug…oh wait, maybe I just did!)

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Here’s another photo to show the range of growth I get to witness.



And here is a reaction of some family members to one of the less pleasant consequences of having Giant Spiny Australian Leaf Bugs around.

Tiny poops but they are very dry and have no smell…


These creatures MOLT three times during their lives. It took me many years to actually witness the process and it is amazing! What they leave behind after the second and third molting is the opposite of transmogrifying. (You don’t want to know about the first molting. Oh wait. I keep forgetting it’s Halloween! They EAT IT!!!)

The molted skins are PERFECT in every detail, right down to the tiny claws, spikes and antennae!

img_6954an empty skin


I guess you could say my experience of having these bugs as members of our pet family has Transmogrified ME! I have gone from that stereotypical image of squealing in terror while running for the nearest table to climb on over a tiny house spider or a beetle …to writing this post.



Mirror/Selfie? for WPC


This is about as close as I ever get to a “selfie”!

(seriously, who first coined that word???)


Photographing my bugs as the late afternoon sun hits their terrarium.

ChosenPerspectives on DETAILS for WPC

IMG_6919IMG_1423Details If you can get past their “alien horror movie” characteristics, up close my bugs have such amazing DETAILS!

Even more amazing is the DETAIL left behind after a molting!! Antennae, claws, legs, spikes, all perfectly hollowed out as this bug miraculously removes itself from its too-small skin.





Back to those BUGS!

One of my first posts was as a guest contributor to The Seekers Dungeon on the theme of Walking with Intention. It is one of the stories about my bugs. Please take a look and let me know what you think.

Walking With Intention Day 20 by Kathie Arcide