Day: September 13, 2005

Praying Mantis

Last week Russell called me from the backyard to come out and see something. He saw a Praying Mantis, he said, and wanted me to see it and verify it, basically.

So out I trudged and sure enough, on the blue fabric roof (Sunbrella fabric) of their play structure there sat a fairly large brown Praying Mantis.

I hadn’t seen one since I was a child. So I took pictures of it the best I could, but didn’t get any good shots, though I don’t know for certain, I haven’t looked at them on the computer yet, they are still in my camera. I just know I didn’t get at an angle to get a good close-up, he was up on the roof and not in a position for me to get in front of him well. I say “him” not knowing if it was a male mantid.

Two nights ago I noticed that on the front porch, up near the ceiling there was a Praying Mantis on the facing board. We have Daddy Longleg spiders up in the corners, not on purpose, they are just there. There were other bugs flying around, it was dark out and the porch light was on. One little beatle seemed to be the mantid’s preying attention. The molding at the corner of the face board and ceiling seem to be something the mantid couldn’t get over … but I thought that a feign in actuality, and within a few minutes the mantid proved that to be true.

The children and I were watching through the side-light window, by the door. The beatle was running here and there on the ceiling, and came closer … and suddenly the mantid began moving forward again, but faster than it had moved before in it’s feigning movements … and it struck out so fast it was wild, exciting, we all yelled out in glee … it was awesome to watch like that.

Yesterday morning I went out onto the porch and didn’t see the Praying Mantis anywhere, not that he wasn’t there, of course.

Last night I went out and looked, but didn’t notice him out at all. Not that he wasn’t there, of course.

This morning I was up around 5:30 am, and turned the porch light on sometime around 6am, it was still dark. I noticed that the Praying Mantis WAS there, sitting on the back of the glass single hummingbird feeder. The birds weren’t out yet, it was still before sun-up.

I decided to then go onto my computer and look up the insect for info. I did, looked at a few things and then didn’t look at all I’d turned up on the first search page, but went and did some things. The sun was then starting to come up, faint light appeared in the distant sky edges, the black of night had lifted to a gray growing light. I saw that there was a Hummingbird sitting on the end of a bamboo pole the children had stuck into the porch railing. She took off into the October Glory Maple in the front yard, then came back and hovered in the air, and flew away again. I went outside and stood there quite still. The hummer came back and did the same thing. Hovered, but wouldn’t drink as she seemed to want to do.

I went back to my computer and opened a few more pages and nearly freaked when I found this page.

So I got Frank to go look at the Praying Mantis at that point, and told him about it all. He grabbed something to try and move the mantid off the feeder, and it only made the mantid move closer to the end of the feeder. A hummer was around still, and wouldn’t go to the feeder still, I think it knew something was dangerous there.

Frank then got something else and managed to get it off and into the stuff down on the ground, at least. The feeder was freed of Mantis Preying … and not long after a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird came and ate, and has been coming to and fro to eat ever since. But not before the Praying Mantis was knocked off the feeder.

I don’t know for certain that the Praying Mantis was planning on eating a hummer, but it’s very possible, and I wouldn’t want that happening on my front porch. I’ve had feeders up for several years and never saw a Mantis around and I’m glad I looked on the web when I did.

If the Mantis shows up again I may get a jar habitat set-up for it and capture it for the children to study and feed it bugs and all that.

“To find adults, look on flowering plants and at porch lights in August through late September. Adult males will often fly to porch lights in the late fall.”

That quoted link just above comes from an Arizona site, but it seems applicable to Georgia, at least in the situation we have/had it’s true that it’s September and we have a porch light that is on at night often and was on when the Praying Mantis showed up on the porch.

Happy Birthday Asa!

Five years ago we had a sweet little baby boy at home right now. All the activity had calmed down, and we were alone with our baby boy again. I say “again” since he arrived before any of our attendants did. So when he was born, we had him for several minutes, all to ourselves. Then the hustle and bustle arrived.

It was a great start to the day. He was born sometime before 2am … something like 1:47, we estimate. Isn’t it grand, in today’s modern world we have an “estimated time of arrival” –nothing exact, for our 3rd baby’s birth. πŸ™‚

Asa is a tornado. He’s Tigger (bouncy and loud). He’s Calvin of (calvin and hobbes) but not a 6-year-old yet. He’s a little boy, a growing boy, a baby, a big boy, all rolled into one package. He has so much to learn, he’s learned so much already. He has a love in his heart for many things, and we pray it grows into a great solid love for God as he grows up. He has much maturity to attain, he is just now turning 5, afterall.

He’s the youngest of our born children. He has not been like the baby all the time. He was potty ready before he was 2. When he was 4 he started wetting his pants sometimes (too busy to go to the bathroom) but he’s potty learned. Just too busy and too young to care. He still is sucking his thumb at night, and during the day when he is sitting still usually, for whatever reason. He hears from us, “Put your blanket back on your bed!” a hundred and twenty-eight times a day. He’s carried it around for years, with time off. I’ve taken his “special” blanket and put it up. He couldn’t have it anymore. Then he found another baby blanket that was Russell’s baby comforter, and claimed that as his. That gets taken away, then a toddler blanket that was Russell’s gets found and claimed. So it’s just a cycle. He goes with no blanket and is fine. Then finds something to haul around, and the hauling re-starts. It’s funny, he’s so different from his siblings.

He’s the one true extrovert among the three. He’s the only thumb-sucker, blanket toter. Russell is a sensitive introvert, has never sucked his thumb or claimed anything to snuggle with. Victoria is also an introvert, and never sucked her thumb and doesn’t have a special snuggle thing of any variety. Both the older children had a pacifier at times when they were babies, but had given them up totally before 6 months of age.

Dear Asa, so very extroverted, so very comforted, he was born into this world in the nighttime, and was a content baby, sucking his thumb, sleeping through the night from birth. I did try to wake him up to feed him, I gave up after awhile, it was too much trouble and absolutely didn’t work. He was a natural-sleep-through the nighter. He ate well all day and evening and slept all night. He grew up and did everything early, and was talking in paragraphs when he turned 2.

It’s fun to see your children grow up in the early years, but sad too. Their babyhood slips off piece by piece, and Asa’s is about to shed his baby-self totally. This is his last year of official baby-ish-ness it’s barely clinging on. My baby is growing up! πŸ™‚ … πŸ™

Happy Birthday Asa! May this year bring you closer to your family, and closer in heart to your Father in Heaven, God Almighty.

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