Praying Mantis

Today is our first perfect late summer/early fall day, with 52 degrees this morning, rising to the low 80’s with low humidity this afternoon. I spent most of the day outside, relishing the warm sunshine, the light breeze, and the late summer sounds of insects, along with the cry of a Red-tailed Hawk soaring against the clear blue sky and the singing of Chickadees, as they alighted near me to grab sunflower seeds I had spread on the table for them.

I was sitting on the deck reading, when I caught sight of some motion out of the corner of my eye– a Praying Mantis was slowly bobbing as she walked along the railing.

She paused and turned to look at me, even reaching out her forelegs to try and grab for my camera and then my hand.

She walked right up onto my hand, as if curious about what I was

I don’t actually know if this was a male or female. I’ve looked it up, and the best way to tell is to count the segments on the abdomen, but since I didn’t know that at the time, I didn’t check. Next time I’ll know to look. Females have six segments, the last one quite large, whereas males have eight..

The mantis ended up walking up a nearby tree

I’m always glad to see a Praying Mantis here, not only because they are fascinating to watch, but because they are beneficial insects, eating many insect pests. The females also often eat their mates immediately following mating. We saw one female dining on her hapless mate in the garden a number of years ago.