197. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos. ~Edward O. Wilson, American Biologist

A single swallow, it is said,
devours ten millions of insects every year.
The supplying of these insects
I take to be a signal instance of the Creator’s bounty
in providing for the lives of His creatures.
~Ambrose Bierce

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Seldom silent is a garden, not in deep darkness nor when the savage sun sits high atop the world.  In it are creatures that buzz, some that croak, others that chirp, those that squawk, and many a bird that has a pretty melody to sing.  These creatures fly, they hop, they walk, they slither, they crawl, they jump; one of them even prays as does the kind of “beastie” I found hiding in one of my roses last week.   Late in the day I’d gone out to cut away rose growth withered by summer’s siege.  As I reached in the second one to cut what I thought was a dead, brown piece of stem lying flat against a thick cane, it moved and raised its upper body.  Quite alive instead was a mantis hanging comically upside down and peering out at me.  When I realized what it was, I dashed back in the house to grab my camera.  Once back at the scene I took a few shots where it was; then I tried to get it to turn into an upright position.  Despite my repeated attempts, it only conceded a sideways turn which allowed me at least to see that one of its eyes was missing and covered with scar tissue.  Stubbornly determined however to get more compliance, I persisted in my nudging effort one more time. But boy oh boy, this guy had had enough, and it instantly raised its front legs as if preparing to attack the overzealous, annoying, and maddening pest.  So I wisely relented in my efforts, took what shots I could get, and departed.  The mantis was still holding steadfastly to that same cane when I went in at dusk, but by the next morning he had moved on to either a safer haven or one where the prey he was trying to lure with his “dead leaf” appearance was a great deal smaller and less bothersome than I.

Yet I am not silenced by the darkness, by the thick darkness that covers my face.  ~Job 23:17  ✝