In my brief foray into gardening this weekend I managed to piss off not one, not two but five praying mantises. Each time a tried to snip a stray morning glory vine or yank a weed, one of the beefy-armed bugs would appear from nowhere and try to clamber up my arms. And then I’d squeal and drop the offending foliage, mantis and all. Sorry, creepy alien bugs!

(That’s my neighbor’s house. Excuse the general dilapidation.)

The mantii(?) may actually be making a dent in the fly and mosquito populations around here, because this afternoon has been downright pleasant outdoors. I managed to get more sugar snap peas planted, a few varieties of lettuce and also some butternut squash. So far, my container gardening experience this year had been mixed: I got lots of unblighted tomatoes (although on the smallish side), plenty of herbs, only a few peas, and no peppers so far because something is destorying the hell out of my pepper plants. Grrrrr. Get ‘em, mantii!

Also in the gardening/bug catching vein, I’ve planted this venus flycatcher in an old lidded jar I picked up at a thrift store, and it’s now one of my favorite things. Whenever I spot a fruit fly droning around the garbage, I catch it in a cup and dump it into the flytrap jar. It’s like a slow, very low-stakes gladiator contest.

That trap in the lower left is eating an enormous black fly! And somewhere in there right now is a nasty tiger mosquito!
(I’m not sadistic, I just hate bugs. Unless they eat other bugs, of course.)
Edit: I’m told that mantises is actually acceptable. Also, mantes and mantids.