When Bluejays Attack!

Today at lunch I was sitting in the courtyard of the Watson building with Kartik, Matt, Raviv, and Patrick (Patrick you may not recognize, as he is a SURF student with whom I've done some work this summer). We had all finished eating and were shooting the bull when a praying mantis leapt off the nearby windows and flew at Matt's and then Kartik's head!

After a few seconds of winged terror, it settled down on our table, leering mantis-ly at Raviv. The enormous eyes of the mantis were so easy to follow that their direction revealed that it's gaze followed Raviv intently... and it really is unclear why.

After a few dozen seconds of Raviv-tracking, the mantis grew tired of his Israeli-Amerian ways, and launched again into flight, laboriously crossing the courtyard.

Approximately one-half way across the courtyard, the mantis was mercilessly intercepted by a half-tamed bluejay that a janitor-lady feeds peanuts daily. Generally, this fat and sloppy bluejay is just plain screwed by nature, and relies exclusively on weird janitor-lady for its comparitive advantage.

Today, however, this jay was in harmony with its nature; the badly flying-mantis reached the halfway point through the courtyard and the jay intercepted it!

Like it was an interception in a football game, all the guys cheered! I kind of felt badly for the mantis, but it was very exciting...

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