Fun Facts about the Mantis according to Annie Dillard:
In August and September of 2005, I walked out of Chicago, IL and continued on into Central Illinois for 180 miles. When I returned home to the city, I was looking for books to keep me in the headspace of being outside all day and I found Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Dillard's dedication to purposeful time wasting made me feel like I was still rambling across the landscape. I would like to include pictures from the walk that include an adventure with the Praying Mantis.
On the first day of the 180-mile walk, Nance Klehm, a friend and collaborator walked with us. It was late afternoon and we had made it down to the South Side of Chicago. We were tired because it was our first day and we hadn't built up a rhythm yet. We were walking along a dusty sidewalk on a busy street next to an electric fence, not exactly picturesque, but you take what you can get. All of a sudden Nance noticed a praying mantis making its way across the sidewalk. Nance was sure it was on its way to meet its doom as BBQ on the electric fence. So, she devised a rescue plan. Using a White Castle cup and her own intuitive knowledge about finding rich green space in the urban landscape, she scooped up the mantis and carried it to relative safety.
This incident brightened up our afternoon and kept us moving on till we found a place to stay for the night. So, the praying mantis is sort of my informal mascot for going outside time when I spend time outside.