I was sitting outside on the balcony reading and enjoying the sunny day when I felt something fairly heavy fall onto my shoulder. Thinking it was a twig or something that had fallen from a nearby tree I got up to see what it was. I was surprised to find a large (3-4 inch long) praying mantis standing on my shoulder. As I stood up it jumped/flew off and landed on the arm of my chair. I quickly grabbed the nearest camera and took a few shots before it flew off the balcony and landed on a bush underneath. Thinking I might want to get some closer shots I picked up another camera with a macro lens and followed it down. It hung around for a while letting me take pictures. I even managed to see it catch and eat something (unfortunately it was deep inside the bush at the time and I couldn’t get the camera in without disturbing it). Fascinating creature. The way the head follows you as you move around is a little disturbing. Eventually it advanced towards me waving its large forelegs so I decided to leave it alone and beat a hasty retreat.

First taken with a Fuji X-E3 and Fuji XF 55-200mm f3.5-4.8 R LM OIS. Remainder with a Sony A77II and Minolta 50mm f2.8 Macro lens

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