Greg and Dale and I were outside one evening this weekend, enjoying the great out-O-doors (and waiting for the chicken to come off the grill) and were treated (?) to a little nature show.
We noticed a consistent buzzing in the tree nearby and recognized it as cicada wings. Sure enough, after a quick look into the tree we could see the thing buzzing away, yet staying in one place.
At this point, one of the adults present may or may not have muttered under his breath some word about those things being "less than intelligent". And little ears may or may not have heard the muttering and tried to determine what was said. The same little ears, coincident tally, that don't "hear" me state plainly that his dishes should be put in the dishwasher.
We were intrigued by the cicada that somehow seemed to have gotten itself stuck in our tree. How does this happen? Don't those things live in trees?
We craned our necks to get a better look at the buzzing 10-12 feet overhead, and suddenly, we SAW:
The cicada was stuck alright. In the clutches of a preying mantis!
Well. Having just studied cicadas a few weeks ago, and having our very own beast vs. beast showdown taking place (better than Nat'l Geographic, I tell you!) we quickly fetched a ladder and the camera to get a better view of the impending carnage.
Here is the part where I had to swallow the pity I felt for the poor cicada whose furious buzzing were becoming not-as-furious and with longer breaks in between. We were watching the poor creature die.
But... it IS the way God made it, and it WAS real-life science, and well... don't tell anybody, but it was kind of cool.
Finally, the cicada buzzed his last and the mantis backed up into the tree to enjoy his dinner, which we let him do in peace. Or maybe our chicken was done by then.
At any rate, here is a photo taken by one of the Devine Naturalists from atop our ladder. View with caution folks, this creature was vicious!