While hiking around the hillsides in northeastern Pennsylvania today I came across the following bugs.
I’ve always found the praying mantis a fascinating insect because it seems like such an alien outlier. It’s body layout seems like a grasshopper, locust, cicada, etc., but it is predatory. And so viscous with those spiked forearms. And the strange mismatch between how delicate their head and thorax are versus how all-consuming their mandibles are.
For all the fascination they carry for me, I have never seen one outside the frame of a television documentary until this week when I saw one crawling up an apartment window on Wednesday night and this guy today. I want to harass them more thoroughly, but I have no idea how tame or dangerous they are. They seem so ravenous in the documentaries that I fear if I were to get my finger too close, he would have me cinched between his spiky forearms and a few stitches worth of torn flesh inflicted by his horrible mandibles before I could shout and shake him off.
But enough of insect brutality, now for sweet insect romance, like two monarch butterflys fucking.
I have them in my garden and they wander away when I get too close while weeding… not one has lunged for me in years. I used to be afraid they’d stabbed on of my kids when they were younger.