When Michelle woke me up the other morning and told me to go take pictures of a praying mantis on the little mulberry tree; leaving my warm bed for the brisk morning air was not high on my list of things to do. Begrudgingly I hauled my sorry carcass out of bed and I'm very happy I did. Since I had to look for myself it took me a minute to spot this big beauty hiding in the leaves, and without Michelle pointing me in the right direction I doubt I'd have spotted it.
The morning light was just about perfect, though a steady breeze made taking its picture incredibly difficult on the tree.
So I picked it up and it quickly went into attack stance.
Then it flew down to the dried out corn stalks I have on the driveway. Which I really need to bundle up.
Everything about these predators is designed to hide them from both prey and their own predators such as birds. Even on the dead corn stalks it blended in well, and its erratic walk made it look very plant like.
This is the last picture I took of it before I picked it up and placed it back on the mulberry tree. It was warming up in the sun and making short flights to get away from me. I wanted it back on the tree to give it a good chance against the crows I heard nearby. I love these bugs!