This was a very happy surprise while visiting family for the holidays: a Praying Mantis on my mom’s garage! The first I’ve seen in all the years she’s lived there, and the only one I have ever observed live and up close. Such incredibly interesting creatures. She was very visibly turning her head to keep an eye on me as I checked her out.
I was able to watch her closely for around an hour. She was free to go at any time, I just placed her on various surfaces where I could see her easily. From the body shape, this is a female European Mantis. I didn’t know any of this when I saw her on the garage, just wanted to handle her carefully and draw her as accurately as possible. Wish I could have provided her something to eat, for being such a patient model. She walked on the driveway and hung out on the rocks in the landscaping.
Last seen heading toward Mom’s trash cans. I hope she found good shelter for the cold night ahead.