Thursday, September 6, 2012

Things on Thursday: Cool Bugs

I know a few of you were upset when I killed the spider in my car, and I want to make it perfectly clear that as long as nature doesn't enter my enclosures (home, car), I'm perfectly happy to live and let live.

You see, I was once bitten by a spider while I slept. Between my eyebrows. It was deeply disturbing to see myself in the mirror that morning, with one eye lid swollen up and sort of tingling.

So disturbing I actually passed out and came to with my face smooshed into the carpet of my bedroom and George standing over me all concerned. The ER staff decided it had to have been a spider bite.

That spider was in my bed. On my pillow. Crawling on me in my sleep.


And I wasn't happy today when I carried a bag of water softener salt into my basement and walked face-first through a spider web.

Not happy at all.

BUT, bugs who kindly stay outside and whose mandibles are not made for biting humans or stinging them or injecting venom by any means into my sleeping eye lid...those bugs are completely cool.

To my utter delight, this big leaf bug visited our front porch one morning last week.

Approx. Length: 3 inches

How amazing nature is! Notice the veining of its wing. Utterly perfect camouflage. I saw a tiny leaf bug--less than an inch long--on the outside of a window I was washing yesterday. Perhaps it was related to this big bug. Both stayed perfectly still while I watched.

Survival of the stillest.

And then, this morning, this devout little fellow was praying on the window beside our front door.

Approx. Length: 2.5 inches

Here's a shot from inside the house showing the classic "praying" stance.

Praying mantises have always fascinated me, and I've encountered them almost everywhere we've lived. I've seen babies that were just over an inch and monsters that had to be five inches or more.

And no, if one of these cool, non-threatening bugs were to enter my house or car, I wouldn't squash them like a, well, bug. I'd carry them outside and set them free.

Just like I do with ladybugs, who are such very good aphid eaters.

What is the coolest bug you've ever seen in the wild? Please share!


  1. I'm going to be boring and say praying mantis, too. We had some in our back yard a couple years ago and I was completely fascinated with them. I hate spiders. I know the good Lord made them for a reason but I literally freak out if I see one - doesn't matter what size. The bug I'm quite annoyed with right now is the fruit fly. We get them every summer but this year they have been extra aggressive. They try to help me drink my coffee in the morning.

  2. Cool, cool, cool photos! But "coolest bug?" There aren't a whole lot of those are there? If an awesome praying mantis is a bug, then is a dragon fly a bug? If so, I'd say that. (And I'm totally with you on the home/car boundary rule!)

  3. I too hate bugs - mostly spiders. My dear grandson, and one of my dear grand-daughters, will capture spiders and put them back outside! Indeed, I am greateful.

  4. I just read a statistic the other day that over their lifespan the average person SWALLOWS like 5 spiders whilst they sleep. Eeeewwww. I like spiders--especially jumping spiders--but not in my mouth!

    Carry on...

  5. Cool bugs! The coolest bug I've ever seen in the wild was a walking stick. It was at my uncles farm, and I will probably never see another one. Right now, we have a praying mantis for a pet, if you can even call it a pet. My son found him when he was a little over an inch long, and now he is almost 3" long. We have watched it molt and sprout its wings. And of course it is always fascinating to see it stalk and catch its prey.

  6. We were living in a stairwell apt. in Germany when my 7 year old son came in from playing outdoors with a tale of a bug he'd seen. From his description, it sounded like something from a science fiction movie! I thought he was embellishing the details a bit until he went on and on and finally I decided I had to see this bug, too. So, out we went and there was the creature he'd so vividly described--it was a stag beetle! They are awesome and who knew they lived in Germany?! But, I sure was glad it was outside and not indoors!!

  7. Susan, I share your views regarding Not In My Enclosures! My view was firmly cemented in the first year of our marriage. We lived in a sweet little cottage in the woods, and we slept on a futon that was on the floor (before we "upgraded" to a platform for said futon). There were many critters in that environment, most of whom were well-mannered and remained outdoors. I awoke in the middle of one night, jumped straight up, and shrieked (I'm so not a shrieker) because a mole, of all things (don't use Google Images – these critters ain't cute), had – are you ready for this – crawled up inside my nightgown!!

    My understanding is that they're fairly blind, so if they're indoors, they'll run around the edge of a room, and that futon was in a corner...I cringe all over again just writing this, and these events took place 32 years ago!

    Our current home is also set in some deep woods (some people never learn), and I'm definitely happiest when I'm not sharing the indoor space with any species other than Husband, our two parrots, or the grandpuppy!

  8. Ooh, Lola! I cringed for you!
    Coolest bug I ever came across was a huge luna moth...gigantic, green, gorgeous!


Thanks so much for taking time to comment!