A praying mantis! He must have hitched a ride under our bumper at the apple orchard. What luck?! I almost stepped on him.
He tried to fight me!
I was pretty excited and I think that I would have been more excited except we just saw one at our resort in Virginia a few weeks ago. Before that, I had never happened upon one in the wild! I guess I have always thought that they were pretty rare...apparently not! They are common in the U.S.
I was worried for his life! I thought that we would end up killing him accidentally. (You know toddlers and bugs do not mix very well) I have since learned that it is not illegal to kill them and you will not get fined. Urban legend.
This good news because Luke LOVED him.
When Phil and I had the praying mantis sighting in VA we started to reminisce about our high school bug collections. You know the kind when you catch bugs, freeze them, and then pin them to foam-core poster board with labels. The one that parents especially dread. It gets worse too because it is all for a GRADE.
I was able to find enough bugs for my collection to be in the running for an A. This was a big deal for me because I did not get a lot of A's...especially in biology.
All of this was taking place in the fall during golf season so my friends and I were keeping our eyes open for rare bugs and usually came in from a match with sandwich bags full of BUGS! What memories?!
I was so thrilled with my beautiful bug collection and proud to turn it in. We had to keep it in the classroom until second semester so that we could look at the bugs under the microscope. When it came time for the microscope lab our teacher told us to go get our collections from the cabinet. I went to retrieve it and it was missing. I rummaged around and soon discovered that it had been completely flattened by a dissection board! Who knows how long it had been sitting there smashed? I was devastated. All of my beautiful bugs gone and for the rest of the semester I had to share with a partner. No big deal really but dramatic for a junior in high school. I was scared for my grade but my teacher had to give me an automatic A because it was his fault!
Having this guy in my collection would have gotten me an A for sure but it turns out that I didn't need it after all!