Built-in binocs

I can see the game juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust fine.

I need a mini hot dog now, tho. And a beer.




Says Sender-Inner Rhonda C.; "During the fourth inning this praying mantis flew up from way down by third base to land DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF US in the cheap seats at the Portland Beavers game on Friday night. Scared the living [Crapulence -Ed.] out of me until I realized what it was. Our friend Tim Goodspeed, a nature/travel/macro photographer, took this pic. The lil green guy watched the whole game with us."

Oh, I bet he watched more than just the game, Rhonda—THOSE EYES CAN LOOK INTO YER SOUL!



  1. All the same, I’m glad I wasn’t born (hatched?) a male praying mantis.

  2. Bejeezus, it’s the cutest looking alien-type insect I eva did see!

  3. AuntieMame says:

    C’mon, ump! That was nowhere near the strike zone! What are ya, blind?

    [Zing! – Ed.]

  4. So adorable!!!!

    My nephew once brought a praying mantis. She was so cute! She liked me and my sister best..every time one of us walked into the room she would fly right over and land on a shoulder.

  5. Teho – LOL! I agree! Tem female mantises are femme fatales in the truest sense of the word.

    Mantises scare me too, though. They *always* look like they’re going to eat you …

  6. He’s all like……..Yo, peeps, this is a good game, no?

  7. wow! thats fantastic.
    i had no idea that we had praying mantis in this area!
    i’ve never seen one, but i’d love to go to a beavers game with this guy!

  8. I'm a bunny person says:

    Oh wow. He’s cute in a photo, but I have a feeling that if this happened to me in reality, I would have been REALLY FREAKED OUT, scared of a little praying mantis. Sad but true.

  9. That’s a sign of incredible good luck! Expect wonderful things to happen.
    I’m happy for you!

  10. Did they name it Mickey?
    Mickey Mantis?
    …… :-p

  11. NotSupposedToBeDoingThisAtWork says:

    Awe. Some.

    I *heart* praying mantises. (manti??) We had a pair (well, they /were/ a pair…) one summer that had babies… dozens of teeny tinies running about the hedge out our back door. So precious!! They’d climb right up on your finger.

    I had no idea they liked baseball, I would have put out my little portable 3″ TV for them, lol!

    p.s. oh, pyrit….. tsk tsk. terrible. XD

  12. dats a bug. ewwwwwwww!!


  13. That’s one awesome pic, just had to say that…

  14. I always thought these were creepy, then I found out they are able to kill and eat hummingbirds, so now they Really aren’t my favorite…..

  15. Ahhhh! I LOVE praying mantises (mantids?)!! I even have a stuffed puppet mantis (her name is Mantie). They’re the best bugs EVAH! They’re so cute and they can’t hurt you and they eat all the bad bugs in your garden. Three cheers for the mantis!

  16. I agree with Liz, I had no idea PMs were here in Portland! If it were me, I woulda squealed like a little girl and….oh wait, I AM a little girl…in size anyway ;P

  17. No WAY, they go after hummingbirds?! Wow. I mean, I don’t wanna see it, but…wow. Manti(?) kinda freak me out too (the whole eating their mates head thing), but I too think they’re kinda cool. Ever had one face off with you? They start weaving back & forth with their little folded dukes up – I’m like Haha/GET AWAY!!

  18. I KNOW THAT MANTIS!!! My dad and I were at a Portland Beavers game several years ago, and I watched a very drunk older gentleman offer the mantis beer, a hat, and his seat cushion, in that order.

  19. Jenny – no wonder he/she hangs around there! “Preying” Mantis!!

  20. Seventh inning stretch!
    Time to sing Lazy Mary!

  21. one could say that the mantis needed a micro brew!!

  22. It must be mantis season around here. We went for a hike on Monday, not too far from the Portland area, and a mantis ended up on my husband’s straw hat. He accompanied us off the hill and all the way back to the car, where he disembarked. We got a couple of pics but they’re not quite this cute.

  23. Mello –

    The preferred plural form is “mantids”, but some also say “mantes.”

    And this guy is adorable!

  24. Oops, sorry. That shouldn’t have been for Mello. My reading skills have failed me!

    NotSupposedToBeDoingThisAtWork , that last one was for you!

  25. Mary (the first) says:

    good grief.. there seem to be lots of us Portland-area-people with nothing to do this morning but check the c.o. photos!

    “not that there’s anything wrong with that”. 🙂 love the mantis. I agree, his name needs to be Mickey.

  26. luvinmalssomuch says:

    He didn’t even have to pay to get in. I thinking these are way cool insects.

  27. Mantises (??) are COOL, but a bit alien-creepy as well, lol. 🙂

    GREAT photo! Should be entered in some competitions.

  28. ok I’m reading a book, during the teengirl time of my life and was sitting outside in my back yard minding my own business when I feel a fwump on my chest. Betwyxt myself and my book I had a visitor very much like this guy.
    Needless to say despite knowing they can’t hurt me same as the sender-inner it scared the whatitz outta me and my book went flying and I ran around screaming like an idiot. Ol Mantis must’ve been yucking it up big time to his buddies later, cause he hung on! I’m running around screaming like a banshee and it didn’t fly away! I had to grab a stick and “encourage” it to climb onto that before dropping it like a hot potato.
    THEN when I realized exactly what this monster was, THEN I was like, “cool” and sat and stared at it for a long time before it finally had enough & flew away.
    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 😉

  29. fish eye no miko says:

    Am I the only one amused by the idea of a drunk praying mantis?

  30. Bugs are icky, not cute!

  31. Hee! I looked at that and went “Wow, that looks an awful lot like the Portland Beavers park… but we don’t have praying mantis around here…”

    Looks like we do! Go Beavers!

  32. Bijou Mondrian says:

    This pic is fabulous! I found one in my apartment last summer, it was like being visited by an alien. And yes, Flavia they are a lucky omen 🙂

  33. squish eet! squish eet noweeeeeooooh!

  34. well Mary(the first one)-
    we here in PDX love CO.
    so, like “notsupposedtobedoingthisatwork”
    I for one am Not supposed to be doing this at work.
    But i love it and it makes me smile.
    just like that goofy PM does! 🙂

  35. Another Angela says:

    These mantids (it’s probably a Chinese Mantis) are not native to the western states, but do show up from time to time. But seriously Rhonda C., you need to go get a copy of “A Mantis Carol” by Laurens van der Post. The mantis is sort of a “god” to the bushmen of southern Africa and he might have a message for you!! It’s a short read, but wonderful.

  36. I absolutely adore these little guys… I usually find one or two throughout the summer, here in South Carolina… I found one the other day on my screen door.. I was very careful to not knock him off on my trips in and out of the door…

    Metz, you had me laughing out loud in the office with your story… I could just see you running around screaming!! LOL

    Pyrite, that was sooooo baaaaaaadddddd

  37. My feelings are seriously hurt. I sent this photo in maybe a year (or more) ago, and Meg never used it:


    I thought perhaps a “no insects” rule excluded my darling bug, but no, I see that that was not the case. (And Snailio Iglesias is NOT in the bug family)

    My damselfly is WAY much cuter than that mantis, and the photo is not at all ‘shopped, in case anyone’s wondering. What does it take to get your submishes considered around here?

  38. little gator says:

    I love you Zorak!

  39. berthaslave says:

    Anything involving an aminal and baseball automatically makes my week extra-spaycial. Thanks Meg and Rhonda, excellent photo!

  40. DoodleyDog says:

    I know I’m in the minority on this one….but eeeeeew! Bugs not cute!

    *must go wash my eyeballs now*

  41. Tulasi-Priya — Meg gets literally tens of thousands of photo submissions every month (in fact, maybe it’s more, now). She doesn’t have a department to sort them all; she’s got herself (and sometimes her sister).

    Also, there’s bound to be duplication; different folks often send in the same pix, without meaning to.

  42. Speaking of washing one’s eyeballs….What’s all over Ms.Mantis’s face? Mites? Crackerjack dust?

  43. I agree with “I’m a bunny person”: he’s cute in a photo, but if I saw him in real life I’d probably freak out. I think it’s the supreme BEF and the ginormous gangly front legs. Eeeek!

  44. Wow – that is one beautiful picture! Wow. I dream of such photography skilz.

  45. Tulasi-Priya – your damselfly is beautiful!
    How special to be able to see her so up close.
    Thank you for sharing the pic here!

  46. LOL, I thought it said Built in bionics, so “I can see the game just fine.” Was even funnier…Can’t you just hear that noise that Steve Austin would make when he jumped now?

  47. There’s supposed to be a “Bionic Woman” remake on TV this fall, CBF.

    (everything old is new again)
    (or so I have heard)

  48. Hah, Crapulence!

  49. PheasPheas says:

    And yet I still don’t look any younger.

  50. Another Angela says:

    Tulasi-Priya, I loved your damselfly photo too! I too have sent submissions with no result. I think it’s just sheer numbers of submissions and nothing nefarious.

  51. I am in Idaho and most of the ones we have had this year are brown. Does anybody know the difference??

  52. No…No…NO! THIS IS NOT CUTE! *shudders* Mantises are creepy…magnified tenfold by the fact that they can fly.

    The only mantis showcased on here should be Zorak…and he’s not cute either…but at least he’ll never fly into my hair.

  53. I like praying mantises (manti?). I would have been ok with watching the game with him/her as long as it didn’t fly AT me. Then I’d be screaming like a little girl! 😉

  54. I had a pet praying mantis one time. It’s name was Fiddle.

  55. Pedant Alert..!

    I note the insertion of the word ‘Crapulence’ – unfortunately, it is being used in the wrong context when inserted as a metaphor for bowel movements.

    Crapulent just means to be ill from excessive indulgence in food or drink.

    Nothing to do with doody, sorry…

    [yeah, we know – Ed.]

  56. now I would be amazed to see a mantis stay alive during a yankees sox game that would be amazing !?!?!?!
    Yes or NO Peeps

    go yankees in my book

  57. WAY


    Who knew bugs would qualify for CO. Is this a first, or have there been others that I’m just not remembering?

  58. Shannon Johnson says:

    Wow, that is awesome.

  59. These little guys are so adorable! I love to watch them cleaning themselves. It’s like a kitty licking the paws so careful then get each antenna gently. They eat harmful bugs so they have always been welcome with us. I saw them a lot in southern Texas where I grew up.

  60. He needs a teeeeeny-tiny baseball cap. With holes for his antennae.

    Nice photographing, Tim!

  61. Praying Mantis can eat small mice too. See video clips: http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=%22praying+mantis%22+mouse

  62. I love mantids. Mantides. HOWEVER IT’S SPELLED. They’re one of the more expressive of the insects I know, like grasshoppers and crickets.

  63. Hey Lori.. me thinks your brown ‘versions’ of the Mantis may be a Stick Bug?

    Check it out!..


    I love both! The stick bugs are amazing. My son had some at his private school when he was in 2nd grade.

  64. Argh! Those things creep me out so bad.

    *shudders in horror*

  65. Pirate Jenny says:

    Yay mantids! PDX represent! 🙂

    I had one on my rosebush once, but it apparently had some kind of magical cloaking powers, because my camera would focus on everything BUT the bug. So, nice work, Rhonda C!

  66. NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!DO NOT SQUEEESH!!!!! He’s a lovely little bugger who just wants to watch the game. Hey batterbatterbatter….

  67. Hey now! If all you rowdy baseball fans succeeded in getting that poor little guy his beer he would have ended up getting his photo snapped while praying to the porcelain god! How embarrassing!!!!!

    Metz….I died while reading your tale of horror. So funny, yet chillingly realistic. Back to life now and still laughing.

    Manda…..”little folded dukes” LMAO!!!!! Classic!

    Honestly, I dig this little dude! Way cute. But then I am guilty of having a grasshopper (in tupperware) on the counter courtesy of my 5 year old daughter. We feed him raisins and he has been part of the family for 4 days now. trying to convince her to let him go back home……

    Earwigs….centipedes….big fat crunchy spiders…..THOSE are creepy nasty bugs!

  68. my cat is a blob says:

    Teho and subhangi:

    what do you think all the praying is about, anyhoo?

  69. anomalous4 says:

    “Watch and learn, Grasshopper. When you can snatch the baseball from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.”

    BTW, boy mantises don’t always end up on the menu. In some species, the guy will bring along a yummy fresh bug for his lady – the mantis equivalent of a box of chocolates? – so he can TCB while she’s munching on something besides him and sometimes manage to escape.

    [!!! I did not know that. Clever insect dudes. – Ed.]

  70. Leah wrote –
    “now I would be amazed to see a mantis stay alive during a yankees sox game that would be amazing !?!?!?!
    Yes or NO Peeps”

    Silly Leah. Didn’t you see the Yankees-Sox game with the squirrel watching from the foul pole at Yankee Stadium? He sure survived. No doubt a praying mantis wouldn’t garner as much attention, but why would any Yankees fan want to squoosh it?

    I tried to find a pic of the squirrel on the foul pole, but couldn’t find one. The Today Show featured some footage of it the next day though.

    On a related note, last season there was a black bird on the field at Fenway Park. The bird actually went from first base to second. Stole it. LOL. To Fenway Park’s credit, they played the Beatles “Blackbird” while all this was going on. Here’s a picture –


    [that’s awesome, right down to the background music… – Ed.]

  71. I thought I recognized PGE Park!

  72. Heh. I’d rather watch a mantis than a baseball game any day! LOVED the blackbird story, too!

  73. Yitzysmommie says:

    Not usually a big bug fan but this guy is so Qte I actually squeed. Great story and great picture! Thanks for the submishe.

  74. Thanks to all who visited my damselfly. But, OMG! I forgot that I have a mantis posted too! Check it out:


  75. O_O these things make me want to cry!


  76. You know, T-P, those shots are pretty good. “Cute” is always a tough call with insects; I think Meg was going more for the humor potential of the mantis in this post.

    But just on their own merits, nice photos!

  77. Martin-san says:

    Praying mantice is not cute! Its beyond scary. Once saw one of these killing a mouse! I am terribly unfond of these critters:D

  78. hahahahaha Metz, I was laughing out loud in the office with your story! I too would be slightly freaked out (on very nice terms) if one landed in my chest area and decided just for the fun of it hang around for as much as it could despite my screaming and running around…

  79. tulasi-priya says:

    I apologize to Meg and everyone if I was whining, but I thought I’d read a no-bug rule on CO, and I really love my little damselfly, so I over-reacted a bit. I also appreciate the humor factor in the mantis/baseball photo. I agree, Theo, that Cute is a judgement call. I hate roaches and palmetto bugs, but I never kill them. When they wave their little antennae at me, I could ALMOST think they’re cute, too!

  80. *shudder* Okay, I’m down with the bats and the snails and the cuttlefish, but this is a little… creepy overload.

  81. Oh, and tulasi-priya, that damselfly is ANERABLE!

  82. tulasi-priya: Your damselfly looks to have a touch of the puppy dog eyes…soo pretty!

  83. YAY! i used to have a praying mantis that i caught in a pringles can in summerland bc. she lived in my house for about a year in a fishbowl and would eat live crickets. she was a rad pet! she also used to have boxing matches on the carpet, lol. sooo glad that after 2 years of daily scouring the qte i’ve found a mantis!

  84. Neat photo but Yuck!

    I would have screamed, then cried, then ran, then hid.

  85. “Whenever I go to the bathroom, someone hits a home run.”
    “So go to the bathroom, PLEASE!”

  86. Bob Uecker Bug is in the front rrrrrooooooowwwww!

  87. Soxfan-
    There was a piece about the Foul Pole Skwerl in the NY Times– seems he got the attention of Norse scholar baseball fans who likened him to Ratatosk, the squirrel that gnaws on the World Ash tree.

    (Don’t you love the whole idea of “Norse scholar baseball fans”?)

  88. You know i’m always amused at the people who say, “I don’t like this because it kills *insert cute thing here*”

    But so do kitty cats! They kill mice and birds, but we all sit here oohing and aahing over the adorableness of the kittehs.

    Nothing wrong with that. Kittehs rocks m’lucky socks. But I like the mantids too. 😀

    And Tulasi, you can’t take it personally. I’m sure a lot of us have sent in pics or videos and never been posted. Me included.
    There’s so many people submitting, and just one little Meg. And this isn’t even her JOB…she still had to work to! We can’t get out panties in a twist everytime we’re looked over. Our day will come, I’m sure.

    And that damselfly….SO FRICKEN CUTE!!!!!! I love how she’s all, “Oh hai! I can has yummy skeeter please?”

  89. I just love these lil guys. They are quite rare anymore. Good for keeping the insect population down. They are just sooooooooooooo cute!

  90. OMG!! My first evvah comment on CO and it’s on an insect! But it’s so cute! Look at those little antennae! And the BEF is super.
    Hats off to the picture-taker also, that’s a classy shot!
    Hugs to all CO’ers! This site defines everything that’s right with this world 😉

  91. Martha in Washington says:

    OK, usually I like the bug pics on the CO but PRAYING MANTISES ARE PURE EVIL!!!!!
    They scare the crap outta me!!! I know they are beneficial insects and all but I don’t wanna look at ’em!!
    *runs screaming from the room to hide under the covers*

  92. Someone told me it’s illegal to kill a praying mantis because they’re endangered. Anyone know if that’s true?

  93. I went to school there when this photo was taken (I think). I love the Beavers and Oregon – such a beautiful state filled with such wonderful examples of God’s creations!

  94. Not so much cute as really quite beautiful. Wow.

    Hehe, “Zorak.” I love me some Space Ghost.

    ashagato, I had heard the same thing since I was a child, which was a pretty long time ago. I’m curious enough to look into it…

    My ancient Greek is a little rusty, but “mantides” seems like a logical plural. If we’re going for Latin, maybe “mantes”?

  95. Update: Found this on the mantis page at Wikipedia.

    “Most North American mantids are not included among endangered species, but species in other parts of the world are under threat from habitat destruction. They are protected in Connecticut, as they are the state insect.”

  96. I am so terrified of these buggers! My boyfriend and his best friend found one inside of a shopping center we were at and started playing with it. They took it outside but let me look ti the little guy through the glass doors.

    He was cute…But I wouldn’t want one crawling on me.

  97. I’m so glad that I’m not the only one terrified of these. I had one camped out in my house for three days and it made me a nervous wreck before I paid my sister to get rid of it. The eyes do indeed stare into your soul.

    I really wasn’t scared of them until I found out they could fly. *shiver*

  98. I’m so glad that I’m not the only one terrified of these. I had one camped out in my house for three days and it made me a nervous wreck before I paid my sister to get rid of it. The eyes do indeed stare into your soul.

    I really wasn’t scared of them until I found out they could fly. *shiver*