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ursulav

The Thing On The Porch

There is a thing. On the porch.

It is organic.

Beyond that, I am clueless. While I'm fairly sure that it was/is/fell off of/was excreted by something alive, whether it was animal or vegetable is a mystery.

This normally would not bother me, except that this sucker is practically welded to the deck. It's been there for at least a week, and has not loosened. It is attached.

It resembles a large, slightly ovoid walnut. It is covered in a dry, leathery substance that cracks like paper when poked with a broom. (I have not touched it--I SAW Alien thankyouverymuch.) The bottom side is cemented firmly down with a dark substance that may be insect poo or rotted fruit bits or fungal slime or god knows what. It is no particular color, and resembles the drab grey-tan of many other generally uninteresting thingies.

It is sitting in solitary majesty, alone on the recently swept boards of the deck.

I suspect it's an egg case or a chrysalis of some variety, but it could as easily be a particularly determined fungus, dead fruit, or piece of poo from a low-flying manatee. It is a mystery. In my heart of hearts, I know that it is an egg case for the Giant North Carolinian Giggling Razor Centipede of Death, which will emerge in the night, come into the house, and chase me around the room, whooping like an insectile hyena. However, I am willing to entertain alternate explanations. Anybody know what the heck these things are likely to be?


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Does it have a split in it or does it seem hollow? I mean, has it been vacated yet? Probably some kind of caterpilleresque pod.

Very hot water should loosen it.

It still has bulk. It doesn't seem to be collapsed.

Well, I've seen them, both empty and full, but I've never seen anything emerge.

I was always afraid to open one, in case it was full of little webs and gears blinking lights.

But, you feel free, let me know what you find.

It sounds like a Praying Mantis eggsack to me; I've had experience with them, as we've put them in our garden as opposed to insecticide. (It's worked pretty well, too.)

*nods in agreement* yeah, sounds like praying mantis to me. if all goes well, you'll have a slew of tiny almost transparent green perfect little miniature mantises? manti? everywhere. until they all eat each other up, anyway.

That's nearly as horrifying a thought as "the Giant North Carolinian Giggling Razor Centipede of Death".

::shivers::

Or they bow down and build tiny temples to the awesome power of the Ursula Foot.

Actually, mantises are pretty good to have around. (By the way, it's "mantises", 'manti' would be the plural of 'mantus', which doesn't mean anything as far as I know.)

Mantises are cool. They don't hurt people, and they catch mosquitos, which may help the whole swamp situation. Er, the literal one you live in, not the metaphorical one you work in. And they're large but not really.. *crawly*. I can understand getting the willies from other insects, but mantises are different somehow.

Oh, and if you can get one to sit (cling?) on your computer screen, it'll try to catch your mouse cursor, thinking it's a food-bug!

(By the way, it's "mantises", 'manti' would be the plural of 'mantus', which doesn't mean anything as far as I know.)

Mantus is the Etruscan god of the underworld; Mantua is named after him. That's the only instance I can think of off the top of my head. mantis can also be pluralized mantes; it's Greek.

Or avoid the issue entirely and call them 'mantids'.

I can understand getting the willies from other insects, but mantises are different somehow.

I think it's partly that they're rather solid and straightforward insects, physically. They don't have a lot of feathery protrusions and they don't give the impression that they would be perpetually attempting to put them up one's nose if they did have them (I can't tell you how often this happens to me), nor do they scurry.

Oh, and if you can get one to sit (cling?) on your computer screen, it'll try to catch your mouse cursor, thinking it's a food-bug!

Which may actually make them more efficient at being cats than any of our cats are.

...except that should be mantidae. XD

Blast, you're right.

You win this one, but I will have my revenge!

...except that should be mantidae.

Not necessarily. One calls the members of Family Hominidae hominids, the members of Mantidae, mantids, the members of Vombatidae, vombatids (or, more likely, wombats, but anyway.)

Does sound like a mantid egg case to me, presumably, a Carolina Mantis, Stogmomantis carolina.

Beg pardon, that should be Stagmomantis.

"The Thing On The Porch" - Sounds like you found some of Lovecraft's lost literature. ; )

Actually, it sounds like a scrapped Goosebumps title.

.. In favor of It Came From Beneath The Sink!, sure.

No clue, but a good dousing in bleach and a bit of a soak gets most things up for me...

If you explain to it, while it's still in its egg case, that leaving you alive would let you immortalize it in prints the whole world might see, then only your neighbors have anything to fear from it - whatever it is.

Ooh! If they are mantii/mantids/mantisses... erm the green preacher-guy bugs, then you are quite lucky indeed. I used to have a pet mantis when I was small (I was allergic to cats, dogs and other standard-issue furry /feathered pets). It was quite cute and would eat other nasty bugs we caught for it, or, in the absence of bugs, a little ball of hambuger on the end of a bit of string that we would bounce around in front of it (they seem to want to catch their food).

Too bad you didn't visit chez moi... I actually have a 5 ft. tall sculpture of a mantis outside my backdoor that I commissioned from a local scuptor, Bobby Broadwell (http://www.metalfusion.com/). I used to wonder if, perhaps, that contributed to my problems getting dates...

Oh, and one last NC-related praying mantis thing: when I was growing up, there was a local band -- one of the "almost made it big ones," called Arrogance. The lead singer, a fellow named Don Dixon, produced one of R.E.M.'s early albums *and* sang lead on a song with one of my favorite lines of all time: "She wanted his body so much, she ate his brain." Title of the song: "Praying Mantis". Arrogance will be playing locally again this summer -- at the Cat's Cradle, I think.

Ok, I'm done.

I used to wonder if, perhaps, that contributed to my problems getting dates...

It wouldn't have in my case. As long as I didn't catch _you_ trying to eat my head.

aren't Mantis (add plural ending here) supposed to be good luck to have around? The shell sounds super-nasty tho.

Puffball mushroom?

How big is it. Photos?

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