Mantis religiosa

The Bard of Liminga

“So, what exactly do you do, then, at the greenhouse?” He was not so good at small talk on first dates. His usual strategy was to order a bottle of wine, ask a few questions, nod and smile.

“Mostly plant protection, which is integrated pest management and pesticide application.”


“I scout and determine what needs to be done.”

“You look for weevils, then?”

 “Yes, they are our organophosphate issue.  We scout for larvae and then apply the bad shit that doesn’t work.”

 “Do you use ladybugs or praying mantises, too?”

 “We use predatory mites, hypoasphis for fungus gnats and encarsia for white flies. Ladybugs and mantis are hard to control for application.”

“Like toddlers.”


There was a pause, and then the ordering of hors d’oeuvres, prosciutto crostini with lemony fennel slaw. He was starving.

“When I was in sixth grade, we had a female mantis in a terrarium…

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About Ray Sharp

Father, poet, triathlete, local public health planner
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