|"We mean you no harm. We've come for your men."|
An enormous praying mantis was on the ceiling of the front porch this evening. It was motionless and I thought it was stuck in a spider web. I gently moved it with the broom handle and found that it was perfectly alive and well. The motionless must be part of its hunting technique. I have never seen a mantis this large.
It politely cooperated when I took photos, thoughtfully remaining in one place while I got the camera. I noticed that it turned its head, sizing up the threat I might be presenting. Maybe it was deciding if I was potential prey. When an insect turns its head to look at you with both eyes, you have my permission to feel just a tiny bit disconcerted.
It is a fantastic creature, a feat of engineering and exoskeleton design. The slender, jointed construction of its hard shelled body appears alien and impossible. I marveled over the delicate front claws. Mostly I was glad it was a mere six inches in length. If it and its brethern were six feet long instead, human beings would have a tremendous fight for dominance of the earth.
Post Script: Thank you to Cyberkit for the suggested caption!