The Praying Mantis

IMG_1014Garden critters seem to know I love them and because of that often pose for a photo or come into the house to visit. Birds, hummingbirds, butterflies, lizards, frogs have all been short term visitors until I relocate them to a more agreeable location in my eco friendly garden. Not that I don’t appreciate the visit. I prefer to see them outdoors where they can pollinate things or chomp up pests who want to eat my plants.

Not long ago I found a praying mantis in my house. I’m especially fascinated by these magnificient mini-dinosaur looking creatures who sit so still but move like a lighting bolt when they decide to capture an unsuspecting insect. (I’m going to refer to it as him although I don’t know how to tell…) I decided to relocate him to a jade plant outside where he would have more food.

A while later I found him floating in the birdbath after perhaps somehow losing his balance. I fished him out, wondering if he was still alive. Seemed so, since when I touched his little legs, they moved. My boyfriend John and I decided to take him back inside, make a bed for him with grass and a bottlecap of water in a tupperware container where he would be safe and could hopefully recuperate. He remained still for several hours, not showing any signs of life unless I touched him. We left for a bit, and when we came back home we found him sitting up, looking at us as if to say “Thanks for the rescue folks!”
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The next morning he had left his bed but captured my attention by comically hanging upside down from one of the coffee cups I had set out the night before for morning coffee. I think he really wanted to make sure I noticed he was ok!
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Then, apparently trying to figure out what to do next, he sat at the edye of the kitchen counter, poised to make a move.
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I didn’t see him after that, hopefully making his way back in to the garden. I saw others but none that really looked like him. But earlier this spring John found an almost microscopic baby mantis inside one of our solar lights.
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Its thread-sized body was easy to miss, but even so, we could see it was a perfect little baby…maybe the son or grandson of the one I rescued from the birdbath. As I’ve written before, I make clothing for a living but plant gardens for my soul. For me, its important that my garden is earth friendly so that the magical balance of life that exists in nature can thrive.
And that makes me happy.