Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Uninvited Mantis

It is hard to believe that August is half over.

Praying Mantis
Catch and Release
August 14, 2017
Yesterday was the mid-point of the month. From here on the days grow perceptibly shorter, with the darkness coming earlier every night.

Monday evening, Chris and I were having dinner on the screened porch because of the myriad bugs that were out that evening. And the rain. On the table was a small, no more than two-inch long praying mantis. It was cute to look at, right up until it started crossing the table to enjoy my dinner.

It was a disturbing moment. I was confronted with a small bug that I could easily crush, but a capable predator that eats other bugs. Even though it did not seem that way at the moment, the praying mantis was a colleague in the war on bugs. The mantis was clearly an aggressor on the prowl for prey. My concern was that I, or some portion of my dinner, was the prey.

I decided to conduct a catch and release operation. Going to the kitchen I got a glass and a piece of paper. Capturing the mantis in the glass was easy and I released the bug onto the nearest crepe myrtle, where hopefully it could find some dinner. 

The bug looked at me when I snapped its picture as it adjusted to being on the leaves of the crepe myrtle. 

I sensed that it felt betrayed, but for the life of me I couldn't imagine why! I certainly wasn't going to invite it to share my dinner.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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