Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Today, on arriving home with Ann and Andy from Ann's preschool, we had a visitor outside our door. Although my knowledge of wildlife is usually limited to squirrels and pidgeons, I believe I can identify this as a praying mantis. It's big! See both photos for the perspective on just how large this creature is! We live very close to a very large park in Queens, and I'm not sure if that's the reason, but we get some very interesting visiting wildlife right outside our home. There are lizards of all sizes that hang out on the stairs leading to our front door, and occasionally get in the house. I'll post those stories someday.
As for the praying mantis (someone correct me if that's not what this is!), this is the second or third time I've seen it. Aren't these supposed to be endangered or something? With all of the leaves and branches around, these are very easy to miss. Ann thought it was a spider (if only!) and Andy just wanted to get inside and eat. RaggedyDad, that suave foreign gentleman, thinks that this insect is called a "pragmantis" and this is a language error that has fossilized for him, meaning he can't seem to get rid of the mistake.
Ann calling the pragmantis a spider reminds me of the time we were trying to catch a mouse that was in the crawl space/attic above the apartment. There were traps all over the place. Needless to say, when we had Shabbos company, we did not inform them of the situation and had put the traps away in advance. When the husband mentioned in passing that he was very afraid of spiders, RaggedyDad and I looked at each other both thinking the same thing - "If only you knew, buddy . . . !"
Since I am afraid that the praying mantis will lunge, fly, or creep me out in some way, I didn't move it away. I tried clapping loudly near it, and knocking the stroller into the side of the doorpost a few inches away from it, but the thing didn't budge. No will to live, that's what I say. So instead, I just got the kids inside, got Ann to the toilet ASAP since she was doing 'the dance,' and locked the door, which thankfully seals airtight on the bottom. Goodbye, pragmantis.