And this, readers, is why I didn't fully shut the gate at 11pm during a blustery full moon last night:
I actually adore wetas. They're spindly, clumsy and prehistoric looking, but in some species, like the Wellington tree weta above, there's a robustness that does make them look like something you wouldn't want to mess with. Like a tiger they have stripes, but they're really quite docile, and I'd say more than a few local beauties have fallen prey to the odd domestic cat or even those urban eco-terrorists, the hedgehog. I'm certainly not scared of them, but was keen enough to give this girl the space she needed - I've been nipped before by accident when one fell out of the roller door as I was opening the garage one morning (it fell down the back of my shirt, so I can't blame it), and those nippers are the real deal; used for fighting when they're not slicing into tree bark they're probably responsible for the odd dismembered weta leg I've found at the top of our (hedgehog-proof) steps.