Are You Fred?

He arose out of the leaves one hot summer day last month.  After weeks of hot, dry weather, I’d started watering just to save my favorite plants. As I stood there, quietly spraying water over my plants, up scurried this little green soul.  He stood at the top and raised his arms toward the sky, as if rejoicing in the “shower”, grateful for the rain that had finally come.

He seemed to enjoy the bath so thoroughly, that I gave that plant an extra dose, just to watch him take pleasure in the moment.  He turned his head toward me and lifted up his arms, as if saying “praise the Lord!”

“And who are you, Little Guy?” I said.  From somewhere inside my brain I heard a whisper, “Fred“.

“Wait here,” I said.  “I need to get my camera.”  

I’m talking to an insect.

Surprisingly, when I returned, Fred was still there, just looking at me as if to say,”let’s get started”.  As soon as the shower began Fred resumed his pose.  He was a natural for the camera, but I failed repeatedly to get the shots.  Holding the hose and adjusting the focus of the camera required a level of dexterity that I obviously was lacking.

These are the only photos that I took of Fred, despite his cooperation and willingness.

The next day I resumed my watering.  To my delight up popped another little creature.  “Fred?”  I asked.

Had I been given another chance?

I ran back inside and grabbed my camera.  I got up close and pressed the shutter.  Flash!  The little guy moved away.  I tried again.  He hopped further away onto a blade of grass.  “You’re not Fred,” I said.  We parted ways.

A few days later I was outside picking some tomatoes and squash.  I ran across this big fellow.  “Are you Fred?” I asked.

He looked at me but without much interest.  “I think you are too old and dull to be Fred,” I said.  “But have a nice day anyway.  I appreciate the job you do looking after my garden.”

Then several days later I discovered another mantis of the praying kind.  He was hanging out on the pole of the hummingbird feeder. “What are you doing there?” I asked.

He turned his head toward me, and if I could have seen his mouth, I’m pretty sure he smiled.  Later that day I noticed through my window that he had made himself at home on the feeder itself.  The feeder was almost empty and a couple of ants had gotten on it.  I attempted to capture the moment by grabbing the camera and taking a couple of shots through the window. 

Shooting through the window never works.  I went outside and positioned myself quietly behind the feeder.  If this was Fred he was no longer green in color.  This mantis was more brownish, but he didn’t seem to mind me or the flashes from the camera.  I decided to call him Fred anyway.

I attempted several times to get the shot I wanted…just one good photo of the hummer and Fred together.   It was getting dark, and despite my presence, the hummer kept coming.  I tried several shots.

But Fred was either hiding or the hummer was too blurry.  As I stood there the sun was leaving me.  It got darker around me.

I tried several more times but this was the best I got.

“I should have gotten a faster camera,” I lamented outloud.

Fred just smiled at me and resumed another pose.



About Adnelg

Retired ... taking it slow and enjoying the simple things in life
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5 Responses to Are You Fred?

  1. Anonymous says:

    cute. isn’t nature wonderful? i had a praying mantis on a bush in my front yard. it looked a lot like your first pics of fred. it stuck around for quite some time, the whole time i was working that day, it stayed close to where i was. i also saw a couple smaller ones and had to wonder, were they offspring of the giant guy…..

  2. From my limited knowledge of gardening, I think that the green mantis is a male and the brown insect is female. Perhaps you have captured both Fred and Fredelle in your wonderful shots!
    Be well, Jeanette aka postworksavvy

    • adnelg says:

      They are fascinating little creatures. I’ve started being a little more interested in them now that I see them in my garden more. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Michelle says:

    Amazing post! Being a sentimental crackhead, I love Fred already. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who imagine conversations with animals and inanimate objects. 🙂

    • adnelg says:

      I was a little concerned people would just think I was off my rocker. I really do see animals (including insects) as little beings that have their own personalities. Thanks for reading my post! and thanks for the comment. We “sentimental crackheads” have to appreciate one another.

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