Manfred would like to comment

We have a new roomer.

Manfred appeared on the front door the other day. He was interested in someplace to stay, perhaps spend the winter.  Well, okay.  I found a room. (Hey, anyone that can do something about these intermittent flies that keep finding their way into the kitchen is certainly welcome in my book).

This evening Manfred the Mantid wanted to post a comment.

Praying mantis on a Macbook screen, tapping on the "New Comment" button of a Word program toolbar.

A large male praying mantis on a Macbook screen, tapping on the

Unlike the cockroach of the Archy and Mehitabel stories, Manfred isn’t much of a typist.  I did get the general drift, though.

“Where are the moths?”

That’s what I was wondering, too.  Flies are dandy, but I’ve not been able to find my insect net in months, so was stocking up on moths for room service.  (There are lots of Monarch butterflies and honeybees on the asters out front, but I’m not about to sacrifice the former or catch the latter.  Call me specist, but the Noctuid moths are hardly endangered.)

Well, I turned on the porch light, and return an hour or two later to snag moths.  Leastwise, that was my plan.  After letting in a cat, I found myself standing out there and wondering, “Where are the moths?”

A moth.  A single, solitary moth.  I finally grabbed it, and popped it into Manfred’s room.

The next morning there were the expected wings littering the ground in the midden corner, as there’s no good eatin’ in wings.  Need more moths.  After a couple minutes of really pathetic tries, I finally grabbed a fat skipper (butterfly) and a bee-fly out near the mailbox.  These were dispatched in due order, and while I was checking the weather forecast, Manfred attended to his toilette, pulling a hind leg up to nibble down the length, and then cleaning off the antennae in a manner that is very reminiscent of cats washing their faces. (Mantids make me look stiff in comparison.)

A mantid grooming its hind leg

A mantid grooming its hind leg

Tomorrow I need to do some better hunting. Meanwhile, Manfred is hanging upside-down, perhaps digesting.

Or maybe still working on interspecific telepathy: “Where are the moths?”


  1. Ettina said,

    29 September 2008 at 20:53

    “(Mantids make me look stiff in comparison.)”

    I feel the exact same way about cats. I’m a very flexible person, but not like a cat.
    A few days ago I commented that I wished I could lick my own crotch (what one of my cats was doing at that moment). “Not that I want to, of course, but I’d like to be that flexible.” I added.

  2. Fledchen said,

    28 September 2008 at 13:05

    I heard on the radio (a BBC nature program called “World on the Move”)that you can turn your bathroom into a moth attractor overnight, particularly if you have light colored tile and a shower curtain. You just need to leave the light on overnight and remove the window screen, and the moths will settle in the folds of the shower curtain by morning. No guarantees that you won’t attract something less pleasant than a moth, however.

  3. 28 September 2008 at 8:06

    We want one! that and a gecko.

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