Serenity Sunday: A volunteer, pray?

Finally regaining some of my usual energy after another bout of infirmity—this time a nasty chest and sinus cold, I was trying to catch up on some back e-mail work yesterday with a nice, hot cup of Lemsip, a locally-popular remedy that I truly wish were available back home, when a slight movement at the far limit of my peripheral vision caught my eye.  A tiny mantis, about 1¼ inches (4 cm) long, was perched on the window behind me.  I watched it over the course of the next half-hour or so and the likelihood of its finding anything in the way of prey on the window seemed pretty slim, so I carefully offered it my finger.  No, wait, that doesn’t sound quite right; I had no such sacrifice in mind…rather, I offered it a chance for transport to a different hunting ground.  It climbed readily aboard and I gently carried it to a bouquet of flowers on the table where I was sitting.

Mantis 8412For the next hour I was able to watch it exploring the new jungle to which I had introduced it.  It must have been pretty happy there, as it was still there this morning.

Mantis 8386I wish I could give you a positive ID for this one, but the order of Mantodea contains more than 2,400 species and about 430 genera in some 15 families worldwide.  Happy Sunday!

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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16 Responses to Serenity Sunday: A volunteer, pray?

  1. Jeff Sinon says:

    Glad to hear your feeling better.

    Great photos too. Love the soft background and color contrast between your “model” and the flowers.

    • krikitarts says:

      It is SO good to be feeling better! I don’t think I’ve ever been ill while here in the past, and I’ve really been making up for (un)lost time on this trip. I fully expect smooth sailing from now on!

  2. Spectacular! The colours, the detail – amazing! Boy, I could have used some of that LemSip too. Glad you’re on the mend :).

    • krikitarts says:

      It’s a rare pleasure to work with a subject willing to try a move to a different setting and to be so patient and accommodating. It’s very rare that I “interfere” in any way with what my photo angel sends my way, but once in a while I’ll help things along a bit. This time it really worked well.

  3. No good re not feeling well. No Lemsip in the US?!! Great shots and beautiful colours. Glad you are on the mend :)

    • krikitarts says:

      I’m pretty sure it’s all behind me now–thanks, Lisa! I’ve known about Lemsip for quite a few years and have come up with a few variations of my own that work pretty well. Most involve lemon (of course!), honey, and–occasionally–a wee dram of a good rum…

  4. Meanderer says:

    Superb images, Gary. They are such strange, interesting, and characterful creatures. He looks a little other-worldly against the blue colour!

    Glad to hear you are feeling better.

    • krikitarts says:

      I’ve always found mantises fascinating in the extreme and can remember being completely awestruck when I saw my first one as a boy in Michigan. There’s been a burst of delight in me every time I’ve encountered another, ever since. The lighting conditions for this little fellow (I think it’s a male, but I’m not really sure) somehow resulted in his looking like he was coated in burnished bronze or copper. Actually, he chose to settle down on the blue flowers. How clever of him!

  5. Vicki says:

    Great shots, Gary. Especially that head shot.

    Best wishes for a 100% recovery soon. Being on holiday with a cold is no fun at all. Lemsip is in Australia also.

    A full cup of hot lemon juice with some Manuka NZ honey will work wonders too. Perhaps you can take some Manuka honey back to the US with you – supposed to be one of the most healing remedies around and antibacterial & antiviral. I don’t like the taste of it myself, but we can’t all love natural remedies (no matter how good they are). My other favourite cure used to be go to bed and pile all the rugs & donnas on & sweat it out of your system. Viruses can’t live above a certain temp. but being a Dr. perhaps you already knew that – LOL.

    • krikitarts says:

      I have come to love manuka honey and take some back with me every time I come here. It’s actually available in the US through certain websites, but (of course) the mark-up in its price is quite prohibitive. I remember that we found a wonderful paste in Germany made from Sanddorn (in German), or sea-buckthorn, that was our first choice as a remedy for bad colds, a large tablespoon stirred into a mug of hot water. Ah, the memories!

  6. lauramacky says:

    These are amazing images! Glad you’re feeling better.

    • krikitarts says:

      This was one amazing little guy! Every time he’d move to a slightly new position, he’d strike a new pose and hold it for me, turning his head a little after a few moments and then freezing again. How wonderful to be able to work with a critter like this once in a while!

  7. Adrian Lewis says:

    Beautiful pictures, Gary, the pale gold of the mantis set against the blue flowers is just great. And I love the story – having it climb aboard your finger must have been pure magic, I would have loved it! Good stuff, my friend! Adrian :)

    • krikitarts says:

      In my experience, mantises will often readily climb aboard a proferred finger if approached very slowly and with lots of patience. They seem to be quite curious and at times appear as eager to get a closer look at us as we are to study them. It is indeed a pleasure to interact with one so intimately!

  8. Finn Holding says:

    Very nice shots Gary, especially the first one where the mantis is peering at you with those striking stripey eyes.

    I wonder what the biological rationale is for the stripes – light and dark, or motion sensors? The mantis family are voracious and efficient predators so whatever it is it must their eyesight must be optimally evolved.

    Glad to hear you’ve conquered the virions and you’re on the mend!

    • krikitarts says:

      I’m thinking the (apparent) stripes in the eyes may, in effect, be a type of camouflage. I’ve seen many a mantis do a little slow-motion, swaying dance when there’s no breeze to make its perch move. It could be another means to go un-noticed by the sharp eyes of potential prey.

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