I saw something so special last week. Utterly special to me, because of my particular, lifelong love for insects. Living in an urban environment, you don’t see all that many interesting specimens. But sometimes, if you keep your eyes open like I do, you’ll see something that will amaze you…
I was taking a brief bite of lunch out in the sun, and ran across the street to throw my apple core into a trash can. I soon almost fell over myself, coming to a halt. My jaw dropped and my chest stirred with excitement. FOR THE LOVE OF BUGS…A PRAYING MANTIS…standing there on the city sidewalk. My eyes were like two moons. I squealed out loud. I was so happy. If there had been anything difficult in my day thus far, it was over. Forgotten…
Only then, I began to worry, for my mantid was posing so tall and proud on the sidewalk. He looked like he was ready to take on the world. Very confident. But pedestrians, and some with dogs, might hurt my beastie by accident. That would make me cry. So I hovered low, and warned a woman passing by…
I thought to gingerly assist the beautiful animal into some building-side greenery. But then I thought, what if that creature’s sharp mandibles bite my finger? Ouch! Well, I guess I could stand such a pinch, if it meant saving the mantid’s life! Sometimes, we just have to be brave.
Alas, as if reading my mind, the insect flew up over the walk, into blades of grass. It was amazing to watch it fly. Like a fairy. I gasped in awe.
Safe, almost unseen, blending so well into the grass, there my mantid stayed to hunt his meal. His arms together, appearing in prayer, as praying mantis will do…
I saw him for two days straight in the same cluster of grass, before he moved along. I of course had to look him up, and learn more about these bugs.
What did I find? A Chinese Mantis. According to Wikipedia, they are the most sizeable species of mantis in North America. I can attest…this beast was nearly as long as my hand, and when standing upright on the sidewalk, was quite dominant. Further, they are carnivorous (not just bugs, but aquatic creatures, reptiles…hummingbirds). They are also cannibals…
Probably a good thing I was spared picking the creature up.
I must say, I’ve only seen a praying mantis in Illinois once before, and that was some twenty years ago. That was especially why this encounter was so incredible. I’d like to have one as a pet. Only, he might eat all my pet jumping spiders bouncing around my house, which would be a conflict of interest. Some people do keep them as pets.
Of course, my heart tells me that what is wild, should stay wild…
As for you, Stay Inspired!
How Awesome, I would have been squealing too and jumping around.
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I couldn’t believe my eyes!
I agree–they are so cool. Don’t see them very often, but when I do it’s a memorable experience.
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To see it standing upright on the sidewalk was absolutely the coolest!