Praying mantises are great favorites of mine and quite a few seem to be making the downstairs garden their home this summer. I started noticing them in June when they were only inch-long miniatures and then kept seeing them get bigger and bigger and finding their shed skins clinging to my plants. Most of the time when I come across them they are bright green, sitting in the cosmos foliage. Today, though, I found one turned brown while sitting among the flowers of the orange cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus) and watched it catch a bee that had unwisely landed on the flower right in front of it.
A praying mantis, green among Cosmos bipinnatus foliage and flowering lettuce
A mantis feasting on a bee it just caught on a flower of orange cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus)
In other news of garden wildlife, I harvested my sun flower heads today because the squirrels had discovered them and were gorging themselves on the seeds. Hopefully they are ripe enough...