Monday, October 1, 2007

Collecting leaves

So the other day the the compost was too wet and I was collecting dried leaves to add to it. Picture me holding two rakes like a big set of tweezers with a big wad of leaves between them, bent over, when I feel something on the back of my exposed neck. A definite something, not a small fly or a leaf. I completed placing the leaves in the tote, gently reached back, and found the largest praying mantis I have ever seen.

Their feet cling.

He didn't brush off.

(Pause for shudder...)

So I gently removed him to the closest flower, a salvia of which I am fond, and went for the camera. Here's the guy.

What made the moment even more interesting was that after snapping the picture of the gigantic insect I had just removed from the back of my neck, I returned to leaf collecting. The very next sweep of the rake revealed this beautiful little snake, which might be a red racer, I don't know. But he has red on his sides. I know, not a very scientific identification process. Actually, very shortly after that a very nice lizard whisked up the wall beside me and paused in the shade of a bearberry plant. But I can't get the picture in the proper place in this blog and he is very hard to see anyway. You'll just have to take my word for it.
Quite the afternoon for creepy-crawlies.


Katie and Chris said...

that's an amazing story filled with lots of bugs. If Addie were there, she would have found them SO exciting! But yes, I can't imagine a praying mantis on my neck, and I can't believe that you stayed still! Chris and I shuddered as we read your story!

Laura said...

You are a brave woman!

meggan said...

i am very glad you are posting thoughts. we did freeze our green tomato stuff. your salsa looks amazing, like i want a huge bowl of chips right now at your table with a cup of coffee with umpqua cream in a barb tipton blueberry mug. the dairy queen sells umpqua chocolate milk in their happy meals here, which makes me think of you.