Friday, August 14, 2009

I named him Jeff.

In all likelihood you won't get any posts this weekend till later in the evening. So I'm going to give you this post as filler. It's a ridiculous post - but hey, at least it won't be about the economy and how the world is coming to an end.

A few years back Mr S. and I got one of those preying mantis pods from the local garden store. We had intended to place it in the garden. At some some we arrived at the idea we'd hatch the sack inside.

I can't remember if I thought they'd have a better chance if they were a little bigger before we put them out. Or I just wanted to see the whole hatching thing. At any rate - we bought an old cheap fish tank and put the sack in. The pod eventually hatched and we were presented with all these manti. At some point we realized we needed to feed them, and even wound up driving to Concord to buy crickets because none were sold locally. I know.. entering crazy town. I swear to you - I'm sane. Curious. But sane.

Anyway. The end result was complete amazement and how the species could continue to exist at all. Most of them died because they couldn't even escape from their own skin. The molting process doesn't seem to suit them well. In the end we had one mantis. Frankly I don't remember what we did with him. I think we might have released him.

Fast forward to about a month ago. The Mr. and I were coming home and discovered a mantis at the front door. So I scooped him up. I told Mr S. that he wouldn't survive his first molt. And anyway - I didn't think these things were native here. Like that gave me complete license to keep him captive. The only reason he was here was probably the result of people like me who had bought pods from the local garden store. The Mr. was so not happy, because I'd already named him. He started out in a small Styrofoam cup. Because, he was allegedly "temporary".

Jeff did survive his first molt. And second. And third.

I told Mr S. that I would release him as soon as he molted his wings. That way he could fly to where ever a mate was. Besides - he probably wouldn't have survived this long outdoors anyway.

So, it's been hanging out in a big Styrofoam takeaway soup bowl.

The thing is - he seems to be oddly happy with his environment. And why wouldn't he be? Food comes to him.

For a couple of weeks now we've been leaving the lid off, and he pretty much just hangs out around his soup cup. It knows he has wings (if he is a "he"), because he freaked out at his shadow last night and made a huge display. But, he seems quite acclimated to us. Which sounds weird to say. I know insects really don't have any capacity for that. I've even had him at the computer a few times while I was working, and he doesn't attempt to get away at all. He just hangs out. He could fly anywhere he wanted.

A couple of days ago we found a couple of other matis's - so maybe they are native, but Jeff is like a thoroughbred compared to them. He's all giant and and green. And I've named him. So... there's that.

Did you know these things can live 18 months?

This is what the bad economy has done to me. Reduced to playing with insects. But, hey - everyone else is playing with yo-yos again. I saw a guy just tonight hanging out in a parking lot by himself yo-yo'ing. Pretty soon it will just be playing with sticks and rocks.

1 comment:

  1. "Pretty soon it will just be playing with sticks and rocks."

    Because that's all we'll be able to afford after paying for everyone else's yo-yos.

    Cool photo, btw.