Thursday, September 18, 2008

Watching me, watching you

A couple days ago when I was photographing the 18th century insect prints, I looked to my right because I thought something was watching me (how many of my bug essays start out like that?). Sure enough, once again I was being watched. But not by a grasshopper, this is the week for praying mantises.

It looked like he had grabbed a prepackaged fastfood something from a nearby spider web. He held it one hand while he continued to watch me. Apparently I am extraordinarily good entertainment for insects. 

I looked to the right for some reason and found his old shell. I couldn't photograph it too well because it weighed nothing and any slight movement I made, made it quiver. It actually blew away while I was photographing it but I managed to retrieve it....from a spider web.

While I tried to photograph the shell, the praying mantis started to eat his McSandwich o'sorts.

I thought what he had in his hand was some dried up dusty old dead thing.

I was a little taken aback with what was under that webby crust of dust.



The Weaver of Grass said...

Yuk! Can't say I fancy his meal. We don't have praying mantis in the UK but I did once see one in Spain, years ago and found it fascinating. Not sure how I would feel at close quarters though. His shed skin is amazing - rather like the ghost of a praying mantis. Do enjoy your site by the way.

Country Girl said...

Wow. What a wonderful series, Maria! Excellent captures. And the little shell was a lovely touch.

Maria said...

Weaver of grass-Aw, thanks. That shed skin was pretty amazing. It was like holding a fairy suit in your hand. I brought it in the house and left it on a table and just went to go look for it and....well, who knows where it flew to this time. Probably out the backdoor.

Yes, at least I didn't encourage anyone to click on the photos to see the images enlarged (I should have waited for Halloween to publish this post but I was too mesmerized by the whole thing to wait).

I am glad you like the site. :-)

Maria said...

Kate-I took so many photos of this guy and eeeeeugh, the shiver shrunken shoulder factor was high. And what was I doing just now? Photographing more praying mantises. My yard is teeming with them.....and stray cats. It's a little odd to see one group go (the grasshoppers) and then another group or two move right in (praying mantises, stray cats and spiders).

Amongst The Oaks said...

Yes, it does seem the season for praying mantis. We recently witnessed an orgy on one of our rose bushes. Two females, two get the picture. So risque I couldn't even blog about it.
I enjoy your garden photos.

Maria said...

Laura-oh my oh my oh my. I just went through all of that with the grasshoppers. Oh please, not again. <:-/

But thank you for your nice compliment on my photos. :-)