Yesterday, while making another attempt at pulling some of the over-abundant weeds in my yard, I found a hatchling mantis. I have never seen one this early in the year! Last year they hatched in mid-April, and I thought that was early. I resisted the urge to capture him, (other than in photo form, of course.)
But my second, and by far wackier mantid moment of the day came a little later at the meeting of the arboretum nature guides. Gloria, one of my fellow guides, had taken a close-up of one of my beautiful females last fall. I had forgotten all about it. Then, at Christmas, she had me pose as if I were riding a giant mantis, (which I also fogot all about,) with the intention of making this very picture. Ever since I was little, I've had this fantasy about having a giant pet praying mantis that I could ride like a horse. Of course, I could never work out how I would feed such a beast, not to mention avoid being eaten myself, but hey, that's why they call it a fantasy.
Yesterday, Gloria surprised me with this hilarious picture, made all the more surreal because the mantis on which I am riding is also perched on my own hand! Usually, I am unable to tolerate looking at pictures of myself, much less sharing them, but this one is so funny I will make an exception.