Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pragmantis




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.

16 comments:

RaggedyDay said...

RaggedyMom, you forgot to mention the posum that I saw on the garbage bin in front of our door. With all the animals it feels like we live somewhere upstate and not in New York City.

RaggedyMom said...

RaggedyDad, that's right, the possum (no, not a raccoon. We're sure.) was pretty intense. I just think it's charming that you repeatedly call yourself raggedydaY. Just one of the many things . . .

RaggedyDay said...

...That make him special...

medicalmystery said...

very funny - you should have a section in the paper - you have a flair for joournalism - i bt you wrote on your school paper in HS - i'm right aren''t i - i have a flair for these things

RaggedyMom said...

Thanks, MM - I did do a little (ahem . . award-winning) writing in high school and college.

houseofjoy said...

Last night I found a mouse in my kitchen. When things like that happen I always think (if only for a second) I bet they don't have mice in America. Thanks for setting me straight.

~ Sarah ~ said...

that is a big bug.

we don't have rodents becuase we have our cat :) although there are pigeons living in the roof of our front porch.

PsychoToddler said...

I had a praying mantis on the window of my room for several weeks when I was a kid. After a while I closed the storm on it and crushed it.

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeew! You know how I feel!

Sara with NO H said...

Oh man, do these things bite? I had a huge possum outside my door one night and for the life of me banging and clapping wouldn't get that thing to move. But when you go to physically move them they sure move fast as I ran shreiking like a teenager chasing elvis. Who knew there were possums in Brooklyn anyway?

Ezzie said...

What do you mean? Having animals around IS New York City! :)

In our old apartment, we'd get the nasty-looking (and FAST) bugs with a ton of legs (not centipedes). Those make you shudder. Praying mantis' (manti?) are harmless and much nicer-looking...

In our new apartment, so far, thank God we haven't had anything. (And yes, it is the apartment you think it is. :) )

RaggedyMom said...

Beth (is it presumptuous to refer to you by name?): one of my earliest childhood memories from when we lived in Givatayim is my poor mother finding a "juk" so large the only way to get rid of it was to sweep it out. But we have our share of 'visitors' in America too, that's for sure.

~Sarah~: When my father's store was on the Lower East Side, they were next door to a restaurant, and let's just say that getting a cat was not optional, it was a major necessity.

PT: I can’t tell from your ‘tone’ whether your crushing of the PM was intentional. Please clarify.

SWFM: Unfortunately, yes. Some aspects of your current pest saga are very familiar. Isn’t it nice when we all air out our vermin issues? It’s kind of liberating!

Sara (my sister-in-law is forever saying “no H” too!): The image of someone clapping and banging (like I was!) and then the metaphor (?) of a teenager chasing Elvis – brilliant! That is one lucky possum to have you make it sound so cool.

Ezzie: By animals in NYC, are you referring to actual animals, or the residents of YC who act like animals? ;) I know the fast bugs to which you refer. Ugh. On a joy-killing note, if it wasn’t done before you moved in, have “Richie the super” do some major exterminating behind the kitchen cabinets and appliances, etc, wherever you can, before everything is put in place, or if it already is, before you finish putting all your stuff away. Unfortunately, the W.’s had some ‘issues’ in their apartment, as do other people I know who live a few doors away from you in the same development. You guys are always welcome here if it involves leaving the apartment.

RaggedyMom said...

Ezzie: I meant residents of NYC. But I'm sure you knew that!

Jack's Shack said...

Dip them in chocolate and you have what we call a cleveland special.

kasamba said...

Ahhh, nature.
You can either love it.... or squish it.

I prefer the latter.

Rhea said...

I'm scared of big bugs.