{foto friday} – the time i watched a praying mantis bathe herself…

17 Aug

this was hands-down, one of the coolest things i’ve ever witnessed with my own eyes.

this post is kind of wordy – as i tend to be when i write.  get me in front of people for a speech?!  pffssthh, forget it.  i’m a hott mess.  but writing — now, writing i can do!

last year – around this time, a little later – i’ll say late september… i found a pregnant praying mantis on our front porch, just hanging out in the honeysuckle bush my roommate has planted by the kitchen window.  i about fell over.  i’ve had a total fascination with these neat little creatures my whole life… i never really understood what the draw to them was, but last year when i saw one i did a little research.  there are lots of different opinions and thoughts as to their symbolism.  they are said to bring stillness, sense of peace, and more internalized thinking.  because they are so mindful about their every move, the mantis is known in some parts of the world as being very spiritual and she is looked upon as almost a meditation resource. i thought i read somewhere that they can also represent death… a surrender, a letting go, etc. and ironically enough, i lost my grandmother about 2 months after i saw that praying mantis last year.

they absolute stun me.  did you know the mantis doesn’t make a single move unless she is absolutely sure it’s the right thing to do?!  kind of like me — i’ll internalize my thoughts for months, weighing out the consequences, possibilities, and outcomes of a decision before i fully choose which one to make.  i don’t like to do something unless i’m SURE it’s what i need to do. finding that place from which i draw that “sureness” is key – it can’t always only come from my brain, it has to come from my heart. the praying mantis represents that balance for me… stillness in the mind in order to make the right choice from the heart.  i like to think the mantis is very much an intuitive creature.  we could learn a lot by watching her, just like we did with ADAM ANT, remember him? patience, diligence, grace, poise, intuition — all qualities of a praying mantis.  all qualities we could all stand to have more of.  i thought seeing her this week went along with my whole patience theme – remember?

{forget that whole {fact} rumour that they sometimes bite the heads off their mates after sex – *ahem* ;)}

so, i was super excited and shocked when i found a {another, the same?} praying mantis in my back yard this week.  i’m not sure if it’s the same one from last year {i named her frances, after my grandmother} – i did put her in the back yard since i felt she would be safer… or, it could’ve been one of her babies, hard to tell — i’ll have to do some research. she has a very distinct marking, makes me wonder if that is a sign of her age…

anyway, i sat down and watched her move today… so slowly, methodically… then i proceeded to just sit and stare, and watch her clean herself.  like, take a little mantis bath.  like a cat… she literally used her front legs to lick and clean the top of her head, you know – how cats do… i wish i had a pic of what i’m saying – but you can kind of tell in these photos i’m about to share.  the story is already prefaced – so here it is, photographically.

she climbs into the tree…

inches up…

totally blending in… even though i know she sees me, and she knows i see her… but, it’s cool…

i just switched angles…

and tried super hard to be as still as possible…

and that’s when i noticed… she was cleaning herself…

so i sat and watched… i was like, entranced…

here’s where she did that little paw-to-head cat-like move… i completely giggled…

she completely heard me…

they don’t appear to have like, tongues… it was hard to capture on film {even though, these fotos in large format are awesome and you can totally see what i’m about to describe} but it looked like they have little “feelers” or tentacles or something on the sides of their mouths… man, this is sounding weird – just google it if you’re curious.  i found it fascinating… and i’m not like, into bugs okay?!  i just think nature is cool as $h!t.

another angle change…

not quite done yet…

i kept hoping she’d move a little further up the tree, so i could get a full foto of her entire body…

but, she just hung upside down there… pausing to “pray”…

then, she began to creep further into the tree…

as if to say, “this foto shoot is officially OVER!”…

sigh.  okay, frances, jr.

can you still see her…?!

i feel very much drawn to the praying mantis.  and apparently, them to me.  i remember seeing them a lot more as a child… i feel it relative to the space i’m in right now in life.  i feel good, i feel peaceful, i feel calm… i feel i’m emerging – last month i was a cocoon, last week i was a butterfly, and now i feel like the mantis… chill as can be.  ready to make my next move…

13 Responses to “{foto friday} – the time i watched a praying mantis bathe herself…”

  1. anthony0358 August 17, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    this was so cool when I read this blog last fall, was she Francis The Preying Mantis


  2. keiththegreen August 17, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    I see that grasshopper has learned the art of patience already. 🙂
    Very well written story to draw viewers into the world of your pictures.


    • cooking with audrey August 17, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

      thank you much, keith. i appreciate your kind words and you taking time to read 🙂


  3. mylifeisthebestlife August 17, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    Very cool!
    I don’t usually like bugs, but someone called me a Praying Mantis once (she did NOT mean it nicely) and I totally took it as a compliment.


    • cooking with audrey August 17, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

      you are one badass praying mantis!


      • mylifeisthebestlife August 17, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

        Right? That chick was just jealous of my calm, cool persona and was probably mad that her boyfriend didn’t have a head anymore.

        JOKES! JOKES!


      • cooking with audrey August 17, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

        LOL – jokes. i love that term. you are so righteous… i can’t wait for the day i get to hug you in person!!


      • mylifeisthebestlife August 17, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

        IMAGINE how hard we will squeeze??? YAYAYAY!!!


  4. Food Stories August 23, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    I totally agree nature is awesome and i enjoyed your account regarding your observation of the praying mantis…also very pleasing pictures…have a great day 🙂



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