Welcome to the Ethical Dilemma Currently Underway in My Flowerbed

The monarchs are here! Or at least here in PA they all seem to have hatched and I am noticing them everywhere.  They are especially fond of my residence, I assume because my love for invertebrates is well-known in butterfly social circles.  Possibly because I lovingly maintain a butterfly bush for them in my flowerbed.  They go crazy for it.  Look at these beauties…

IMG_20141014_100229113 IMG_20141016_125446163

OK, here’s where this lovely little story takes a turn for the grim and horrific.  If you have trouble dealing with the brutal realities of nature and carnivores, go ahead and see yourself out now.  Things are about to get RILL.

The other day I noticed what I thought was a butterfly stuck in some of the leaves.  His wing was kinked and it looked like he was struggling to get free.  Aww, poor dear, let me go over there and untangle those branches so he can get out.  Doo doo doo, here I go to move that pesky branch, you’ll be on your way in just a second little fella, doo doo dooooooOOOOOOOHHH MY GOD! 

The butterfly.  Was being eaten.  Alive.  By a praying mantis.

“WAAAHHHH!!!!!” (actual recreation of the sound I made)

I took a picture only because my inner nature enthusiast overpowered my inner 8-year-old-girl and I realized this was a rare, once-in-a-blue-moon thing to witness.  It is kind of cool in a very freaky kind of way.  You can see the picture here if you want.

Frogson and I ran inside where unfortunately the show was very visible from our front window.  Later I went back out and all that was left of the butterfly was a little piece of wing on the ground.  The praying mantis was still there.  If the mantis and I were starring in some kind of 1940s detective drama, you would have seen me point my finger at him and bellow MUURRRDERRER!!!  Instead the little effer is just staring at me all smug-like, looking like he just gorged himself at a brunch buffet.  DON’T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT, MANTIS, I KNOW WHAT YOU DID.  And he’s just like, what? What’d I do? GLOVE DOESN’T FIT.

This is where my brain started going crazy.  At first I was on Team Butterfly. This can’t happen again.  Not up in here.  I’m not letting him hang out there 24/7 mauling butterflies right in my window.  A child lives here.  If I’m going to have a bush luring butterflies onto my property, I can’t knowingly have a predator also living in it.  WHAT KIND OF SICK PERSON DOES THAT.  

Then I defected to Team Mantis.  Carnivores have to eat too. He’s a living creature just like the butterfly.  He has as much right to be in that bush as they do. And you just had turkey sausage for breakfast, you deplorable hypocrite. SHUT UP IT WAS APPLEGATE FARMS.  Still a turkey, hypocrite.  SHUT UP.  YOU SHUT UP!

I’ve been leaning Team Mantis ever since.  I would obviously never consider doing him any harm, but I thought a humane solution for all parties might be to clip his branch off and just relocate him to the woods.  Surely he wouldn’t lack food there, and the butterfly trap would be broken. It seems like a win-win, but I don’t know, something just feels wrong about meddling in the affairs of nature.

Here’s where I’m asking your help.  I’ve always wanted to use the polling feature on WordPress.  I’m busting it out.  TELL ME WHAT TO DO.  I am seriously wracked with indecision over this.


10 thoughts on “Welcome to the Ethical Dilemma Currently Underway in My Flowerbed

  1. Awesome, total dilemma this one. The bush you nurture isn’t a natural occurrence in nature, so if it wasn’t there the butterflies wouldn’t be there en mass and thus providing an all you can eat buffet for the mantis…however it IS there and so is the mantis and the butterflies. I think I’m leaning in for Team Mantis…

  2. Haha! Your blog cracks me up yet again. I felt pretty guilty, but voted Team Mantis. As you said, “something just feels wrong about meddling in the affairs of nature.”

  3. Wow, the teams are pretty evenly split!! I am totally with you on it being a tough decision, I mean obviously the luring of the butterflies was so that you could ENJOY them, not have them devoured. But then, you know…hunters and hunted and whatnot. :/
    And hey, you said you took pictures of the feast?
    I’m no creep, and it feels totally sick of me to ask, but WHERE ARE THEY? 🙂 My inner nature enthusiast is kind of taking over on this one…I mean as horrifying as it is it was probably pretty cool looking and the colors and oh man I’m really a sick individual. X( lol.

  4. I was about to answer the poll and then realised that I wasn’t going to choose fairly, so deferred to the more level headed. I have a deep underlying hatred for manti (is it mantises?) I photograph them sitting on my brick and wish vile things for their futures. I never disturb them and they seldom stick around (I wouldn’t put it past those creepy things to have mind-reading capabilities). No other bug or beast creeps me out like a thin-necked, swivel-headed, bulgy-eyed praying manits.

    1. Holy crap, I know what you mean about the bulgy eyes and the swivel neck. What other insect can turn its head like that?! One time I rustled his branch a little, and the thing whips its head around to stare me down. I think I screamed.

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