Since I was a kid, the Praying Mantis has been a favorite annual insect to explore. The way they have no fear, after the apparent “if this big thing hasn’t eaten me yet it probably won’t” moment… Then they will walk up your arm, and look you in the eye almost with an intelligent gaze. Or they will groom themselves, as if putting on a show. Or crawl up to the top of your head, and hang out a while. Mantis are pretty cool and fun to interact with.
Yesterday I was out in the shop, and heard my youngest “Dad! I found a little Praying Mantis!” Sure enough there was a small mantis that could not have been more than a few days old. We oogled and ahhed over the little guy, took a few pics, then released him back to the wild.
Where we live the mantis color is mostly a bark colored camouflage look, although I did spot a classic green one yesterday on our front door. We gave this one a few moments of inspection before we let him go on one of the tomato plants. No matter how old I get, the mantis holds a special place in my memories. It is interesting to note, that my kids have the “bug” as well. Pun intended : )