Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Small and Prayerful Wonder

European Mantis - Female
(Mantis religiosa)
It began as as a flash of vivid grassy green across our favorite hill on the Two Hundred Acre Wood in Lanark.  For just a moment, I thought our visitor was a late dragonfly, then I realized that no dragonflies of that size or perfect shade of chartreuse reside here at this time of the year.  The visitor had to be something else.

When the green flash came to rest in an area of tall grass, I combed the area for several minutes before discovering this comely mantis clinging motionless to a stalk of scouring rush and waiting patiently for lunch to come her way.  The mantis had morphed her colors to match the foliage she was visiting, and she was perfectly camouflaged - it was only her rosy antennae that gave her location away.

I am something of a newcomer when it comes to identifying mantids, and we don't see many here, but I think it was female from the size and the diameter of the antennae.  She was gorgeous, just gorgeous.

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