Day 232 Carnivore

July 29, 2015

(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year where I write and illustrate a blog on each day’s gift.)

As I started to leave my house today, I noticed something green on my black wrought iron railing—a praying mantis was swaying back and forth in a strange dance. I have read that this swaying could be related to crypsis, an attempt to mimic wind-blown foliage. It is also possible that the repetitive movement helps the mantis to discriminate objects from the background. 

Excited about possibly getting some good photos, I turned around to run back into the house and grab my Nikon with a macro lens. Returning outside, I looked through the viewfinder as I neared the insect only to discover gray fog. Condensation! From cool inside to hot, humid outside created an impossible shooting situation as I was trying to capture nature. As soon as I wiped the condensation off the lens and positioned the camera, it had fogged up once again. 

I watched as the mantis jumped from the railing to the concrete and studied some ants that were running around nearby. I actually saw one ant race unexpectedly across the body of its enemy. However, a few seconds after that, with lightning speed (30-50 thousandths of a second), the mantis grabbed another ant, held it tight in its raptorial legs, and began munching on it. All the time during this great drama, I could not keep my lens unfogged long enough to take good quality photos. 

Regardless of a foggy lens, I felt lucky to have witnessed this reality show three feet from my front door.

My gift today is praying mantis drama.
You can find links to my other posts on this project here:

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