Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Personal Entertainment During COVID-19


The travel business is one of the hardesthit industries by COVID-19 so consequently our company is struggling. For almost 40 years in business on Marco Island, we have designed dream trips and spectacular adventures for clients in most of the United States and several countries in Europe. We embraced the computer age and survived through 9/11 and we will also endure through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In the meantime, however, for the first time in many years and like many of you, we hardly travel and think of new ways to occupy ourselves. Photography is not only a profession but still is my favorite hobby. In the garden, my wife Jill discovered a Praying Mantis. She carefully placed it on our mosquito screen and suggested I photograph this remarkable creature. The insect truly resembles how I perceive an alien looks like. 

We marveled at this creature that is widely loved by gardeners because it consumes so many destructive insects and is harmless to our plants. There are over 2400 varieties in the world and 11 natives of Florida. 

When I had taken a series of shots, Jill found a second Praying Mantis and “introduced” it to the one on the screen. After a couple of hours, the two got together and it almost looks like a human being hanging on for dear life. I found out that often is literally the case, as the female quite often bites off the head of the male during mating. Afterward, she eats the rest of the body as nourishment and eventually can produce as many as 300 eggs and an average of 1/5 will survive. 

To what length we go to amuse ourselves. It is time we get back to work!  

Ewout Rijk de Vries & his wife Jill have owned and operated America Travel Arrangements on Marco Island for almost 40 years. Normally, when submitting photos for articles, Ewout uses Nikon equipment, but for this story, he used the amazing camera of the Apple iPhone 12 Mini. Ewout can be reached at 



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