(062:  Baby praying mantis.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

Did you know that the name “mantis” comes from the Greek for fortune teller (soothsayer) or prophet?  I didn’t.  I also didn’t know mantids (the group name) can turn their heads 180 degrees, see movement up to 60 feet away and although they’re considered good garden insects because they eat a lot of other insects,  don’t discriminate between the good bugs and the bad bugs.  Those spiky things on their legs are to help them hold their prey.

This baby was checking out the support pole of the new spiral stairs.  I had to keep chasing him or her around the pole to get a picture.  What was funny was watching the little thing peek around the sides of the pole to see if I was still there whenever I decided to practice patience and try to wait him (or her) out.  I think it eventually decided I was harmless as it finally crawled around to where I could see it and snap a few photos.

M and I went blueberry picking this morning.  Between the two of us we only managed to pick about 7.5 lbs. of blueberries in 45 minutes or so.  While there were plenty of berries on the bushes, a lot of them hadn’t ripened yet.  We’ll have to try again next week.

12 Comments on “Mantids”

  1. krebiz says:

    My friend and his wife picked THIRTY-FIVE pounds of bluberries in 2 hours, with 2 kids running underfoot. They are like blueberry picking masters. His brother lives in Columbus; maybe he can swing by your way to help out next time you go picking.

    I love the image of that little mantis peeking at you, and going round and round the pole like a game. I want pics of the stairs.

    • Robin says:

      Heh. You’re funny, Biz. I imagine if there had actually been THIRTY-FIVE pounds of blueberries worth picking, we might have picked ’em. As it was, we were doing a lot of searching. I suspect the weekend pickers really cleaned those bushes. But yes, do send him by. He can do my share of the picking.

      I wish the photos of the mantis peering around the pole weren’t so blurry. You can see his little head turned as if to ask “are you still there??”

  2. Bo says:

    Love the baby mantis, and love the image of you chasing it down, and it playing peek-a-boo.

    And 7.5 pounds of blueberries sounds like a lot to me. No blueberry picking in Wisconsin, but I do remember camping in Maine one summer vacation and picking blueberries off the bushes behind our tent for breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime snack. Yummy!

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Bo. 🙂

      I think 7.5 pounds of blueberries is a goodly amount. We were hoping for about 10 lbs. but that’s close enough for one day’s work.

  3. kel says:

    what a cute little stick insect
    i wonder if he likes blueberries

    and yes, we all want to see the stairs . . .

  4. Anna Surface says:

    LOL I chuckled reading how you followed the mantis around then waited it out. That is an excellent capture! I used to pick up mantis’ when I was a kid. I didn’t know about the meaning of mantis that is means fortune teller. Neat! That’s a lot of blueberry picking! 🙂

  5. BiblioMom says:

    My youngest loves blueberries. She ate so many one summer that she stained her teeth. Yummy.

    • Robin says:

      BiblioMom: My first job was picking blueberries. I was 9-years-old and wanted to earn my own money. They paid $1.00 a flat (which is about 10 lbs.). I think I ate at least a flat of blueberries every day I was out there picking. Blueberries are my favorite fruit.

  6. ybonesy says:

    Ah, you did adopt the shoes as your avatar. Nice.

    I’m used to seeing praying mantises on window screens or plants, spots where it looks like they can get gripping action with their little spiky feet. But to see one on a metal staircase–bizarre. Those little feet must grip pretty darned well.

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