John called me one day as I was busy working on a quilting project in the house and told me to come outside and look at what he found. Yes, it is a large, and I do mean large praying mantis. He says they don’t bite but you wouldn’t catch me getting one to crawl up on my hand. You can see by the size compared to his hand how big it was – probably around 5” long. We see smaller ones quite frequently during the summer, especially around the house on my flowers. This one was in the middle of the driveway and John stopped to guide it onto his hand so it would not get run over.I loved watching the insect watch me. I don’t know if there are any other insects that can turn their heads but Praying Mantis can. I really wonder what it was thinking of me as it followed me with it's head/eyes. They use their front legs like arms too.
Another observation or supposition I have made is that I think when the first people were drawing what we all think an extraterrestrial looks like now must have modeled them after this insect. I think the little green men look a lot like this.
After we admired it for a while and I took a bunch of photos John slowly walked across to my garden to set it on one of the sunflowers growing there. I haven’t seen this one again but did see another large one come scooting out from a plant I was watering a couple of days ago.
By the way I love the photos of my hard working farmer husband in these photos who stopped in the middle of the day to rescue this insect.