Hostess Gift: A Praying Mantis

We hosted our 8th annual Halloween party this afternoon. Mother Nature graced us with a clear, warm, spectacular day.  My sister and I enjoyed donning our costumes and posing for photos on the garden deck. My sister dressed as The Corpse Bride from the animated Tim Burton film of the same name.  I made a dress to emulate artist and greeting card designer, Bela Pillar.   Our friends came and went all afternoon.  We had a blast.

Corpse Bride and Bela Pilar Dress

Corpse Bride and Papyrus Greeting Card

One of the first guests to arrive lives just a few houses over. Bobbie and his son came bearing an awesome hostess gift: a full-grown praying mantis (mantid). They spotted it on the walk over and knew how much I would appreciate it.  Awesome!

We all gathered around the plant to watch the mantid in motion. He was quite active, and at one point swiveled his triangular head and looked directly at us, before turning back and reaching up to the next set of leaves.  I could have watched him all day.

Mantis (or mantid) can live up to a year, shedding their skin several times as they grow.  This one is fully grown, probably about six inches long (15 cm). These pious bugs are great for the garden, since they dine on unwanted insects and bugs. You can buy praying mantis egg sacks at local nurseries to organically control bug infestations.

praying mantis
praying mantis 2
praying mantis 3Once the party guests went home, and the house was back in order, I went outside in the dark with a flashlight hoping to spot him.  Instead I saw a katydid sitting on a flower, wondering why on earth I was snooping around in the bushes after dark.

Perhaps she had a point.  I’ll check back tomorrow and I’ll let you know.

Halloween Countdown

party going pumpkin

Charlotte’s Pumpkin

22 thoughts on “Hostess Gift: A Praying Mantis

  1. WOW, Alys you look stunning! You did such a great job of sewing. Love love the hair, I’d be tempted to wear that around every day. Would you ever grow your hair long? Sharon’s make-up is so perfect! Her nose looks perfectly hollowed like a skeleton. I love her expression and brows…hehe. What did Mike wear? You are the only girl I know who gets so excited over bugs…one of a kind you are. What on earth is a katydid? I’m almost afraid to know….you had me at rats in trees. LOL. Glad you had a sunny day, it all sounds so awesome.


    • Thank you so much! Funny thing about the hair…many people said the same thing. It’s a higher quality wig than the others I have, but once I saw it I knew it was perfect for the costume. I had to cut the bangs to make it match the card, but it worked out.

      I am letting my hair grow out long, something I’ve avoided because I thought it would make me look too old. I know so many women my age with long hair and they all look great, so I’m going for it.

      Sharon’s friend Kim did her makeup. She did an amazing job, and boy it was a lot of work too. She had to soap her eyebrows, then apply latex and then makeup to cover her brows. I think she looks like the real deal!


      • I’ve had the same worry about the hair. I’m just so lazy about doing a style. I’ve had it a few different ways and it always seems easier long….it looks good on you, totally ‘go for it’.

        Good tip with the soap on the brow, I’ll have to remember that. My Nefew Kyle (friend on FB) is a makeup artist and living his dream in Vancouver. You can’t imagine the stuff he comes up with….I bet he’s going to have a crazy Halloween.

        I wouldn’t want to run into Sharon in the dark, perfectly frightful.


    • Wow, you are a globe trotter, Eleenie. How wonderful to be experiencing so many different cultures. Where are you originally from? You may have mentioned it, but I’m claiming “Menopause Brain.”

      Thanks for the compliment. We had a great time put them together this year.


      • Haha, no I haven’t mentioned it and I know what you mean, my brain is going all mushy too and hubby thinks my head is full of fluff. I’m from the Midlands in the UK originally. I lived in Munich for a year many moons ago and since then I’ve spent 5 years in Greece (Peloponnese) before moving to Bulgaria just over 2 years ago. I keep promising myself I’ll post about it all but I don’t seem to be progressing very far with it! Bulgaria is my favourite place, so far….Seriously though, I think I’m getting too set in my ways to move again, the thought of moving boxes fills me with dread so it’s probably just as well I love it here! 😉


  2. Those costumes are outstanding! Hope your party was lots of fun.
    Do you happen to know if mantis will keep Japanese beetles at bay? They are by far our biggest nemesis in the garden, regularly dessimating our cherry tree and rose bushes.


    • Thank you, PJ. You’re all inspiring me to keep growing it. No gray yet, but I’m sure it is just around the corner.

      Sharon’s friend Kim did an incredible job on Sharon’s makeup, didn’t she? I was so impressed.


  3. Is that Sharon, difficult to recognize, but great costume. Before I moved away I had a Preying Mantis fly in my bedroom window on the second floor one night, I gave it a pet and sent it on it’s way.


    • Clay that is indeed Sharon. Doesn’t she look amazing? The make-up really alters her look.

      You were brave to handle the Preying Mantis. They have very sharp teeth. That said, if they aren’t hungry, you’re safe. Sweet that you gave it a pet and sent it on its way.


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