The drive home from Sydney to Byron Bay can be a real drag…time is measured out in coffee stops and toilet breaks. So any excitement along the way is always welcome, especially if it is of a close encounter with a giant bug!
As we passed a new sushi roadside diner at Coffs Harbour, my eyes clamped on a HUGE insect sitting on the lime green wall. Can you imagine how BIG it was to see it from the road? So I commando rolled out of the moving vehicle to dash over and have a close-up look…I split with excitement when I saw her huge pregnant belly, flourescent green eyes, and splashes of emerald down her wings. A magnificent site. And my mind started racing over the photo opps as I darted back to the now safely stationary car to grab my camera. And then I remembered…my camera was in Canon hospital getting repaired (the lens had locked with the camera body!). OK, not to worry, I will take her home. A quick google check (love my iphone!) revealed she was a species that lives in my area as well, so I could relocate her without guilt.
Now what to put her in? Well it just so happens that I never travel without a bug house in the car. Oh, right, it’s full of baby stick insects ( a gift from one of my art collectors in Sydney – really!) and the mantis will definitely polish them off. So into a rinsed-out drink container she goes. I could hear her scrachety-scratching for the rest of the journey.
The next day, safe and sound in her own bug house, the mantis layed her eggs (told you she was preggers) and looked at me hungrily. I have been hunting grasshoppers for her ever since. And managed to find a rocket frog, damselflies and a plethora of other little critters for lots of photographic fun over the long weekend!
As you can imagine, I have been very careful with my large guest and I prepared the studio carefully for her photo-session. I planned the images I wanted before picking up the camera (which arrived back safely – thanks Canon!).