Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Which Came First?

The Mantis or the egg?



I've always had a great fascination of the Praying Mantis.  It's like having a tiny version of some prehistoric predator in the garden.  

Last year I spied a newly hatched mantis on my Butterfly Bush.  I couldn't find it after that for about two months and then came upon it as an adult when I brushed against the bush later in the summer.  I was so thrilled to have found her again.  From then on, I was constantly hounding her like paparazzi on poor Brittany Spears.  I got dozens of pictures of her doing nothing but hanging upside down, waiting for her next meal.  I was even lucky enough to see her enjoying a meal or two.

Then one day I caught her walking up a wall near the plant that she'd spent her life on.  She was going off to die.  It took me days to find her egg sac.  I was rewarded richly when I did.  It is the most beautiful color of purple.  I don't know if mantis' eat plant matter, but it looks the same color purple as the flowers on the butterfly bush.  No matter. 

I check it every day now that it has warmed up.  I have a distinct memory from 7th grade biology class of hatching a mantis egg sac.  How marvelous the tiny little creatures were---almost microscopic, but perfect replicas of the grown version.  I can't wait to share the tiny miracles with my kids.  I'll try to get a picture or two and start my mantis stalking all over again this year.

2 comments:

  1. You said:
    "From then on, I was constantly hounding her like paparazzi on poor Brittany Spears. I got dozens of pictures of her doing nothing but hanging upside down"


    (giggle!) Amazing photos and story, too! I'm also impressed with praying mantis'. They scare me a little, too, when I move my finger near their bodies. They look as if they are stalking it! Yikes!

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  2. Just sending you a quick note to tell you I received your nice message about the other 'thing' we have in common (wink-wink)

    I tell you...we are seriously traveling on parallel universes, girlfriend!

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