For the past 3 years we’ve been seeing a praying mantis in our backyard. I get quite a kick out of it. I don’t recall seeing any as a kid. The children really dig it, too. We found one yesterday and I took a few pix.
I also read a little about them. They live only a year, so we’ve apparently got a family in our yard. And they’re carnivorous. Here’s an article about a praying mantis that caught a hummingbird. A picture, too. Pretty cool.
BTW, I’m pretty impressed by the macro lens on my little camera. Charlotte said, “I never saw the eyes before.” Not sure I do, but I do see slits that could be eyes.
I really like the small opportunities our yard offers the kids to experience nature a bit. Lightning bugs are plentiful (tho Lis and I fight over calling them lightning bugs or fireflies). We have a pair of cardinals, some blue jays, a catbird or 4. Occasionally a flock of crows create havoc. We have a family of skunks nearby. I crossed paths with a baby skunk (8 ft away) while taking the garbage out recently. I ran like hell. Possum, raccoons, a family of bunny rabbits, dead moles that the kids bury. Bats, neat.