Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Beastie

This beastie has been living on the courtyard's south column for the past week.
(yes, I live in a house with columns..... it's also stucco..... two attributes with which I never imagined I'd live. And yet they work here. Kinda. But TBG loves them and I love him so they make me happy, too.)

Anyhow, I took these pictures over several days, at different times and,
amazingly for Tucson, in different kinds of weather. Yes, we had weather in Tucson. When you live with 350 days of sunshine every year, 50 and cloudy counts as weather. And it rained this week and that's really weather. I've been through the courtyard a lot this week, meeting the UPS guys running to and fro, faster than my brownie offering fingers could greet them and signing for the FedEx lady who really loves the brownies. And no matter what time I went out there this green beastie was on the column, at my eye level, letting me get within inches of himself.... herself???

Doesn't he look like a string bean?
And shouldn't he have another foreleg?

Ah, there it is. He had it mid-thorax.... for balance, perhaps?
Can you see the sharp edges on the appendages?
Up close and personal they are very very nasty.

And tell me that head doesn't remind you of the Alien Leader in Independence Day.

But most of all, tell me what it is.

I've tried to use the identification keys but I'm not sure how to answer the very basic questions. (Yes, I should have paid more attention to the insects lecture in Master Gardening classes. But I was trying to get over the beasties pinned to styrofoam which sat in front of me for 8 hours and I was unable to concentrate on very much else. There was also this microscope which projected its images onto a movie screen at the front of the room and the slide on display I remember the most held parasites injecting themselves into some sort of pupae .... at which point I closed my eyes and tried to think happy thoughts.)

Have you stuck with me this far? Are you surprised that you enjoyed looking at beasties? I have to say that I don't like snakes and maggots and worms and grubs but a beastie like this one is beautiful to my eye.

I just wish I knew what it was.

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  1. Ah, Squid, you agree with the Little Cuter, who, though blocked from commenting at work, emailed me with the same information.

    Yes, it's very cool- but gone this evening. Perhaps the fame was too much to bear!

  2. What you have here is a praying mantis. They are good at keeping pests at bay. The gruesome thing about them is that after they make love, they kill their mate by offing his 'ead. Sorry that you know now.

    Enjoyed the party tonight. We'll have to get together and discuss string theory. :-) I made it through the Elegant Universe and understood almost a fourth of it.

    Phillip Greene


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