|There's the egg case. Like a small, brown chunk of Styrofoam glued to the hedge.|
I think there's something really tangible and wonder cultivating about watching wild things up close and sometimes even having a part in caring for them. We found a couple of egg cases in our hedge and we brought one indoors and installed it on the kitchen counter in a mason jar. (Next to the mason jar containing a newt, and the one with a caterpillar in it and the one containing two worms that Nib insists are "best friends.") We waited and waited and we kept checking on it but nothing. I told the boys excitedly what it was at first and we faithfully inspected it but eventually I got nervous and started telling them that maybe it wouldn't hatch and there were no guarentees about these things, maybe it was an old one, maybe something was wrong...who knew, really. Amazing how doubt creeps in when much patience in required.
But then one morning returning from errands, Nib made it inside first and boomeranged right back out yelling "Our ants are out! Our ants are out!" So exciting to go in and see the tiny, almost transparent mantids all over the inside of the jar, and the spiral of egg case sawdust hanging delicately down where they drilled their way out.