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…
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.