Dead Leaf Mantis [Haibun]

This mantis pulls off the dead leaf look. Its abdomen mimics a leaf - desiccated and rolled up upon itself. A barber-sign slant spiral of veins add the perfect touch. Even once one notices the six thin legs, legs invisible to all but a piercing, hunched-over stare, there remains a period during which it is more acceptable to the mind to think of it as twiggy leaves than as an insect. Amid a litter of dead leaves, I'm sure my eyes would never land on this skinny bug, but even on a rocky outcrop that's perpetually swept bare by way of the breezes that whip and wrap around the mountain, it still seems more leaf than bug. 

a dead leaf mantis,
standing in an unlikely place,
yet my mind screams, "Leaf!"

DAILY PHOTO: Butterflies of Bohol

Taken in December of 2017 on Bohol Island in the Philippines

 

DAILY PHOTO: Giant Pill Millipede, i.e. Sphaerotheriida

Taken on May 28, 2017 in Coorg, near Madikeri

 

They curl up into a ball to wait out danger. Size: a little smaller than a golf ball.