Well I can say for certain that it is NOT Mrs. Curtis! Last Sunday (10/21) is the day that I laid my egg sac. In mantid language, it's called an ootheca. I perch myself upon a stick and lay this foamy substance about the size of a large gumball. It quickly hardens so that the babies, or nymphs, are protected inside. Typically this protects them through the cold, wet, winter months until spring. Now that I live in a more controlled environment, the egg sac will be dry and safe from both weather and predators. However, those pesky crickets in my cage started eating the sac, so Mrs. Curtis removed it so that my babies can be protected. Did you know that inside the ootheca, up to 300 nymphs could be growing and developing?!? I overheard Mrs. Curtis saying to someone that she "didn't know what she was getting herself into". I wonder what she meant by that...
So...you might be wondering how I got the name Bolt. I mean, I am a girl, and Bolt doesn't sound like the most "girly" name. Well the boys in Mrs. Curtis' room decided to cast a vote. You may be familiar with this process as you humans are currently in an election year. Obama vs. Romney right? I believe some of the 5th graders at Northern Hills are currently learning about that process. Well, anyway, back to my name. Mrs. Curtis asked the students to come up with a list of suggested names. I overhead a long list with names such as... M&M's, Strawberry Ice Cream, Manny, Dump Truck, Spike, Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong...and the list went on and on. After all the names were presented, Mrs. Curtis had the kids cover their eyes and raise their hands for the names they liked. The remaining names without tallies were removed. From there, it was majority wins. They each got to vote on their #1 choice. Needless to say, Bolt was the winner. I think Strawberry Ice Cream sounded pretty sweet. How about you?
It was a warm autumn day on Tuesday, October 16th, 2012. I was minding my own business, basking in the warmth of the sun, when a loud noise started to get closer and closer. Before I knew it, I could hardly contain my fright, when I was suddenly blown to the ground by something I have now learned to be called a "leaf blower". My wings became injured (not that I could fly due to the large size of my abdomen) and I was soon picked up by a human hand. I heard several voices of children over the next few hours, but they safely put me back to my resting place...probably thinking I would be left to die.
Soon enough, it was nighttime and I was settling into a slumber. At first I thought I was having a nightmare of those same children coming back to haunt me in my dreams, but to no avail, they were back. For real. Sigh...couldn't I just have some peace and quiet? This time, a girl picked me up and carried me across the street to where I heard even more commotion. The next thing I knew the girl and 2 young boys were putting me in some kind of a netted cage where I sat through the night.
The following morning, I was transported by some large moving machine and brought into yet a new environment. Soon, I was hearing hundreds of children's voices. Luckily, a nice lady, brought me into a quieter room. I have since learned that this nice lady is Mrs. Curtis. Turns out, she was going to bring me to her classroom to "share" with her students. However, it was quickly decided that I would become the classroom pet.
By the next day, I was moved into a new habitat that was actually quite cozy. I guess this is my new home and I pretty much think it's a safe place to be. The temperature is always the same so I never even have to worry about getting too cold at night. I might actually survive this cold Wisconsin winter weather! I have a plentiful supply of crickets, though I am getting a little bored with the taste. Perhaps they will treat me with some other insects as that is what I seem to be missing most...my large variety of food options in the wild.
Thanks for reading and check back often for updates. There has been some excitement around here since I first came and I can't wait to share that with you!