THE VISITOR

We’ve had a visitor at our front door for over a week. When the inner door is opened it stares at us through the screen door. Having to go out one day, I took a fly swatter, went out the garage door and no, I didn’t swat it, but simply coaxed him onto the head of the fly swatter and gently place him into the grass. I would have left but he was in the perfect position to drop down on me every time I opened the door from the inside, a surprise I did not need!

After that we saw him on a porch pillar and then back to the screen door he went. When we open the inner door he turns his little triangle head and looks at you. I’m very familiar with this type of visitor being that my son had a full cocoon in his room earlier this spring. That time we sent the straight pin-sized little ones to several schools in the area for nature classes. One somehow was missed and startled my mother when it walked around the top of a lampshade to watch her make my son’s bed.

Our visitor is of course a large praying mantis. We protect them always and just wish that there was a greenhouse close by so that we could give our visitor and several small ones a warm winter home.

I am reminded of the larger praying mantis who brought his own and joined us at the picnic table over our patio many years ago. Dinner for the mantis was a god-sized fly which was handled very daintily. First the legs were eaten like drumsticks, then, bit-by-bit the rest of the fly was devoured. All the while turning its triangle head from person to person as our own dinner was getting cold!

While the boys and I re-warmed the hot dogs and baked beans, the mantis was carefully placed in my husband’s double greenhouse, there it was assured plenty of food as it ate all of the unwanted bugs in our greenhouse.

The Waynedale News Staff

D. Lebrecht

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