By Sheldon Greaves, photo by Denise Greaves
No, nothing deep or philosophical this week, even if the title sounds like something that ought to have the word “zen” in it somewhere.
Near the conclusion of our recent move, while doing some final clearing of our erstwhile garage, a couple of people who were helping me found something over by the wall, near the cracked concrete footing supporting one of the garage’s exterior walls. I walked over and saw a magnificent praying mantis, which neither of them had ever seen before, nor did they know what it was. I described it briefly and we agreed to leave it alone.
My wife Denise, the family’s amateur entomologist, was on her way over and it just so happened that one of the bug jars I had made was handy, so I popped this critter into it wouldn’t wander off or get accidentally stepped on before she could see it. She arrived moments later and, decided to take it home to photograph. The results are above; she took the insect and arranged it in a bathtub with some foliage to take the above pictures. Neither of us had ever seen a praying mantis this large; roughly five inches in overall length (not counting appendages). After photographing it, Denise released it in some bushes near water, where it should find plenty to eat. We don’t have an ID on the exact species, but suggestions are welcome.
Just one more example of how science happens when you’re not expecting it, which is half the fun.