Monday, September 10, 2012


I've been thinking a fair amount recently about what I want from various online venues, both in terms of what I put out there and what I get back. The result is going to involve a little restructuring everywhere, including this blog. When we (I) started this, I wanted to have it be a 50/50 collaboration with Morgan. A variety of situations have made that vision difficult to achieve, which is fine, but I also didn't want to really take over while he was otherwise occupied and turn it into a place that was more for me than for him. The bottom line though, as anyone who knows us realizes, is that he is the strong, silent type and I'm the can't-shut-up-already type. And just like in any conversation, he is most comfortable when he can interject when he feels he has something to say, and I am most comfortable if I am talking the rest of the time. So why should the blog really be any different?

In other words, I'm no longer going to try to hold us to an alternating schedule of posting. Morgan will still post, but the timing of those posts will be on no set schedule.

Now that the housekeeping is out of the way, let's get down to the real and serious subject of this post: Morgan and I were recently being stalked.

By this:

"So I take it this means we're not going to box after all."
And I know that right now you're probably thinking a couple of things. Well, if you're bug-phobic, you may be thinking "holy crap, I'm going to have nightmares!" But if you're not, you're probably thinking, "a praying mantis? That's what was stalking you? Seriously?" Hear me out, though.

I sat down on the closet floor a couple of days ago to get out a pair of shoes. I sat there for a couple of minutes getting the shoebox, opening it, talking to the dog, that sort of thing. Then I got up, sat down on the bed to put the shoes on, and thought I saw a large piece of ... fuzz or something? blowing in a breeze on top of Morgan's shoe. Yes, a breeze in the closet, on top of his shoe. I have no idea why I thought that, except that it made more sense than the reality, which was that it was actually the above-pictured fellow waving his front legs back and forth like a prizefighter. Once my brain put that all together, I said to Morgan, "There's a praying mantis in the closet, on top of your shoe. Right by where I was sitting a minute ago."

Morgan got a plastic container, trapped the mantis, took him outside, and unceremoniously dumped him off the edge of our porch. Then he came back inside and we tried to figure out how and why a mantis was in our closet. Where did he come from? How long was he in the house? Why the closet? Yeah, we didn't (and don't) have any answers, either. Anyway, later I went outside and the mantis was still in essentially the same spot, so I took a picture of him. That's when I noticed that the eye visible in the picture above was damaged. Poor thing! Maybe that's why he thought our closet looked like a garden?

Anyway, we went off to an estate sale and when we came back, the mantis had moved a few inches but was essentially in the same spot. A couple of hours later, I went outside on the porch to see if he'd moved. I went to the railing and leaned over - he was gone. Cool! Except that I realized that his new hangout was on our railing about 5 inches from my hand as I looked over. (And this railing is about 10 steps above the ground where we put him, so it's not like he could have accidentally wandered over to it.)

"Yeah, haha, that was funny. Now let me back into my closet."
Every time we looked outside over the course of a few more hours, he was sitting there exactly like that, staring at our door. It was unnerving. He was obviously just waiting for us to slip up and leave the door open for too long so he could get back inside. Morgan eventually went out, recaptured him, and relocated him to a yard a few doors down.

I'm not going to lie, I half-expected him to turn up again later that night or the next day, like something in a horror movie, but so far we haven't seen him again (and the closet has been thoroughly inspected for any friends of his). Still, I am going to look before answering any knocks at the door.


  1. All I can say is ... eeewwwwwww

  2. Haha, imagine my surprise when I realized I'd been sitting on the floor with him next to me at head-level!

    I was glad Morgan was here because I would have been afraid it would jump or fly or something when I tried to get it into a container. I'm not really afraid of them, but they are definitely big bugs!

  3. Hahaha! Sounds like an interesting experience for sure. What a mantis was doing in your closet we may never know for sure, but when I was a kid a friend of my dad's found a snake in their shower. So, it could be worse, right?

    Couple years ago I raised one of these mantids, and its true, they don't really move all that much. So it's probably still hanging out around your house somewhere. Hopefully in the garden, eating annoying garden bugs :)

  4. How on earth does a bug that size end up inside the house at all, let alone *way* inside the house in a closet?!

    Snakes in the shower would ensure Morgan a lifetime of thoroughly inspecting the bathroom before I went anywhere near it.

    Hopefully it's hanging out in the neighbor's yard. I don't trust this thing to stay out of our house. :)

  5. Welcome back to blogging Ursula, I love these....we had tiny babies in the bathroom this year which were so cute. Maybe it's a female. At least they don't bite/sting and can dance well.
    I haven't forgotten about the envelopes if you are still doing them? Had a busy summer and ashamed to say I have no idea how to send you a personal message on g+

  6. Debra, I'm terrified at the thought that it might have been a female. I'm glad they don't bite or sting, or even jump around really, but I don't need any more surprises!

    Absolutely am still sending out mail art, so I'd love to send you something. You can either send a message via G+ by posting a message and removing "public" or whatever default circle shows and just putting my name in as the audience, or you can send me an email at gmail (st.ursula).