We will not be outdone

While I was visiting my parents, I subjected them to the full praying mantis slideshow. Trust me, what I posted to the blog was but a sliver of what is fully available. Me plus digital camera plus my first mantis? Oh, there are serious pictures.

But my mother didn’t agree that this was the first.

“Of course you’ve seen one before,” my Mom said. “We had them in our yard in Falls Church.”

“No, I didn’t see one there,” I said, thinking back to the house where we lived when I was born and returned to when I started 8th grade. “We moved right after I turned three. Maybe I saw them, but I surely don’t remember.”

“You never went in any yard until you were in college and had to learn how to mow grass at the pool,” my Dad said.

Dad speaks the truth. When I was a lifeguard at Annandale Swim & Tennis, our manager assigned me the job of mowing the grass between the parking lot and the front desk. It was a small patch, not like the veritable field out back by the pool—that required a riding mower. I didn’t tell the manager that I had no idea how to start a lawnmower, pulled the cord without checking to see if the damn thing had oil in it (To be fair, at the time, I barely knew cars had oil in them…), and promptly locked up the engine.

Do you people think I’m kidding about this Inadvertent business? I have no history of yard-entering. None.

But, back to the mantis. Just after I returned from my trip, I got an email from Mom with the subject line, “We will not be outdone!”

Dad with mantis“A praying mantis came to our house this morning, too!” Mom wrote in her email, which she sent to me and Steve. The pictures she sent were rather large, and therefore filled the screen at first opening (I’ve sized this one down for your blog-viewing pleasure).

Before I had a chance to open her attachment, Steve replied to her email. “Nice photos,” he wrote. “Although I did jump a little when the first one opened up to Pete’s life-sized face staring through the screen door.”

Weird. Praying mantis’ are nowhere to be found, and then they’re everywhere. Synchronicity is fun stuff.
Oh, and Cole? They didn’t name their mantis, either. At least not as far as I know.

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7 Responses to “We will not be outdone”


  1. 1 cole September 16, 2006 at 7:46 am

    maybe it is an ankle biter need. my kids want to keep everything. I insist if we keep it , to give it a name. maybe I think it will instill more moral responsibilty to creatures if it is more personal, and has a name?

    Perhaps I am just a nut job. who is to say?xx

  2. 2 Mom September 16, 2006 at 8:38 am

    Dear Inadvertant:
    Since we need to put a new roof on our house, we will sell the naming rights to our praying mantis. If there are no takers, perhaps a naming contest is in order. Love, “She-who-would-not-be-outdone!”

  3. 3 inadvertentgardener September 16, 2006 at 11:08 pm

    Cole, I want to keep and name everything too, and I’m no ankle biter!

    Mom, interesting concept…perhaps it’s time to contact corporations!

  4. 4 cole September 17, 2006 at 6:40 am

    My son spied another mantid on our window screen this morning. I swear, I have never seen one in my life and now, this summer, 3 up close. Funky. It is not Poppy Truck Driver though, he is a much smaller.

  5. 5 inadvertentgardener September 17, 2006 at 6:45 am

    OK, that’s amazing. I still haven’t seen another one since ours flew off into World O’Spiders, but they seem to be popping up everywhere! Carol over at May Dreams Gardens saw one, too. I declare this Late Summer of the Mantises.

  6. 6 Carol September 17, 2006 at 10:38 am

    I see a few every year, but the last few years, I’ve seen more than before. Perhaps they like my gardens? Perhaps because I rarely resort to using insecticides, I’m not indiscriminately killing them off? Regardless, I am one of the few who likes to have them around, doesn’t mind when one lands on me, and appreciates them for eating the bugs I do not like. Hmmmm… now that I think about it, since I’ve seen more praying mantids, I’ve seen far fewer aphids! Biological control works!

  7. 7 steven September 17, 2006 at 8:04 pm

    I’ve been reading the mantis posts and I saw a huge mantis yesterday while I was mowing and it all infiltrated my dreams last night. I has this crazy dream about a mantis that was about the size of a squirrel monkey that I found in my yard and decided to keep as a pet and I kept telliung the mantis “Genie will be so jealous.” Weird huh?


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