They land on the windows each year,
They come to eat the hummingbirds.
I detach them gently from the glass, using envelopes.
But they always return to where they were,
and swivel their heads around to look at me.
Cheers to you from the amazing alien creatures we all are~
205 thoughts on “Preying~”
Love the shadow the preying mantises project. Mother nature’s shadow art. It is to be noted that the female Praying Mantis chews the male’s head off after procreation. Love the photos
Yes. So much is alien about living creatures.
Ahh, thank you Thomas, I admire you.
In my culture, we can ask the prayer a direction when we lost in the wild:))
Beautiful post, Cindy 🙂
Ahhh, thank you! Wasn’t sure how people would respond to an insect!
So long time, as you have a good story beside your photos, you can attract many people, Cindy.
This post show so well, how Mantis are looking and not all are so lucky to see this very often.
They are like ninja…they can multiply themselves using the reflection!! lol I did not know these insects ate hummingbirds!
Laughing……they are magical as well as intimidating to hummingbirds!
Amazing creatures and such super pictures, it seems really looking at you and the camera! What a model!
That was the truly eerie part. I am not used to insects swiveling their head around to watch me as I took photos from different angles!
Cindy, as always, amazing photos. Well done my friend. xx
Hugs & hope all is well with you Lea <3
Thank you dear Cindy and I’m working on it… <3
Ahhh, thank you very much!
Lovely shots, Cindy. 🙂
Very pleased you enjoyed these amazing guys!
…eeek…they freak me out! 🙂
Yes, I fully understand. Thinking of them our size is pretty terrifying……
Fantastic !!!! And the shadows ……….
So happy you are not freaked out & thank you!
not at all
Do they really eat Hummingbirds? 🙋🐦
Yes. They really do and it is pretty terrifying to see.
Yuck. I hate insects, especially those now that you said why they are there. Nature sure is cruel.
Insects and snakes can provoke intense feelings and we probably are wired to be wary of them for good reason~
Snakes don’t bother me if they’re not poisonous. Years ago I saw a garter snake on the sidewalk outside my eye doctor’s office. It literally raised up to “see” me and my son, flicking his tongue at us. He was actually kind-of cute. My son scooped him up, using a school folder and moved him to a grassy area. He was harmless. Anything that crawls on me or buzzes around my head I can’t stand. I even like bats. I love to see them flying around. I had one at my suet feeder. I went out to fill the birdseed feeders, and it was still dark out. The bat flew right past my ear. He was cool, too.
Good for you. Snakes are cool and good for the environment. You are brave with the bat!
Yes, I expect we look just as strange to the mantis as it does to us. Strange but beautiful, of course.
Thank you smart one. That was definitely my point. To the mantis, we must be the most horrifying, giant creatures on the planet!
They bring good luck.
How lovely! I had no idea, but I do look out for them, and the hummers.
Cindy, is it joke about eating hummingbirds? This creature doesn’t look like it can do that. 🙁
Google mantis v hummingbird. It is pretty terrifying. Hummers are on average 8X’s bigger than a mantis, but they do indeed stalk and kill hummers and each year they try and do this at The Holler, but I move them, over and over.
Wow, poor birds!
Nice! I keep them away from my visiting hummers 🙂
Yes! You and me both, but I still find them to be fascinating creatures.
oh that they are 🙂 kind of creepy though and we have Walking Sticks do you get them?
I just measured a 6.5 inch Walking Stick!
Yes they get that big here in NH 🙂
look like walking cigars… cute.. but keep them down there please
Laughing…… and understood!
We get them here too, in several colors. I think they’re cool.
Yay! All creatures, great and small!
It’s really the first time I actually look at pictures of grashoppers. They look like thin cigars with legs. But they have wisdom lurking in their small heads with enormous eyes. They way they look at you, at us, is of the knowing. (I don’t know what I’m writing. Forgive me. The pics are wonderful. 🙂 )
It is fascinating to think about how insects might perceive us! We tend to focus on them creeping us out, but imagine how they must view us giants who kill them so readily and often for no reason.
How interesting, ours are green. I assume they are all female because they all have killed their better half?
I have only seen the green ones in photos or videos. Here is everything you never wanted to know on how to sex a preying mantis:
Very happy you enjoyed them!
Thank you Cindy for capturing such great images of these amazing beings! So grateful for you!
Awww, I am incredibly grateful for kind people like you! <3
Their details are both fascinating and bit off putting or “alien” as you suggested!
Yes, intriguing and repelling at the same time. They probably view us giants as uniformly terrifying!
LOL, We’re probably the most alien and terrifying creature on the planet, destroying so much in our quest for growth and happiness.
I’m guessing they’re ‘preying’ you’ll leave them alone lol. Aren’t they fascinating!?
Laughing!! Their prayers worked!
Interesting pictures, Cindy. What a great idea to use envelopes! 🙂
Paper was too flimsy to hold them, but envelopes work perfectly!
Great pictures, Cindy! 🙂 They really look alien, don’t they?
They remind me of the alien creature in the movie, albeit much smaller thank goodness!
Praying mantises always sort of give me the creeps, Cindy. I know they’re basically harmless to humans (some even keep them as pets!), but those alien eyes and “hairy” legs just make me shudder. Great photos, though!
I think you are having an evolutionarily adaptive response that may have kept your forebears alive. <3
One of nature’s most intriguing creatures.
Yes! Of course you “see” this~
Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
I’m glad I’m much begger.
Laughing. So completely true! And thank you dear friend~
I’ve never seen them so up close and detailed. They really were looking at you Cindy.
It was an eerie feeling, watching him swivel his head to watch me!
He was obviously looking at you.
Yes. He definitely was.
They are so intriguing and my heart warmed at their insistence to return from where you moved them until….they come to eat WHAT???? Yikes
Laughing…. so pleased you were intrigued by them, at least initially! It means you have an open mind <3
Well they are very stereotype alien looking
Yes they are.
Alien indeed! Incredible pictures!
Thanks much & happy you enjoyed!
They are very bizarre looking creatures, but like you say, aren’t we all? I’m sure we look funny to them. I wish they would find something else to eat other than hummingbirds, though.
They eat mice too, which has to be hard for them to do!
I had no idea! I can hardly picture it, and I probably don’t want to see a video either.
I would recommend you not watch a video of it.
Great post. I’m glad you try to protect the hummingbirds, but I suppose everyone has to eat. Their grasping forelegs and curious gaze makes me glad they are not larger – a fearsome predator!
Exactly! They kill creatures much bigger than themselves, kinda like us and whales I guess, but at least they kill to survive. We can’t claim the same distinction.
Such amazing creatures. Praying Mantises do sometimes eat bats even
WOW! So incredible!
A couple of weeks ago, my friend was shocked to see a large bright-green insect in her car while driving to work. She thought it was a grasshopper. On the phone, her daughter and I jokingly told her to act like a flirtatious grasshopper to lure the innocent creature out of the vehicle. But, when she sent us a picture of it, we both gasped! “Oh no, mom! That’s not a grasshopper, that’s a PRAYING MANTIS and they EAT grasshoppers!” her daughter exclaimed.
My friend was freaking out over the phone, and I couldn’t stop laughing. “It’s jumping towards my head!” she screamed.
After arriving at work, she took more pictures of the handsome critter (one in which it looked directly at my friend with its huge eyes as if studying her), and gently moved it onto a nearby bush.
“one in which it looked directly at my friend with its huge eyes as if studying her”
This is exactly what they do. They eat animals that are much bigger than themselves. When they study you, it seems they are thinking, “Is she too big for me to try and eat?”
I understand they will bite your finger, so maybe the answer is, “Too big to eat, but not too big to taste!”
Oh my! My oh! Uch! Well, I appreciate all earth’s creatures, even if I don’t like them.
How big are these things if they eat hummingbirds? My timbers are shivering!!!!
Laughing…..I should have used by ruler. I measured a stick bug yesterday that was 6.5 inches!
Remember you are Canadian. You are not afraid of any creature! <3
The shadows are so cool! Wonderful photos
Ahhh, thanks so much!
Love those alien eyes …
I do too, especially on that swiveling, watching head!
Great photos! Saymber told me about your post because I just wrote about having a praying mantis at my house too!
They are quite remarkable house guests aren’t they!
I love praying mantises…indeed a very alien look to them, like they can see into your soul. Didn’t know they preyed on hummingbirds!
” a very alien look to them, like they can see into your soul.”
This describes them perfectly. Maybe this is because we can see them moving their heads and watching us which we can’t see with most other insects.
Great mantis shots, Cindy! They sure do look very alien-like! 🙂
I have a fossilized one in Dominican Amber from 20 million years ago, and one in Burmite Amber from 100 million years ago (Cretaceous Period), so they’ve been around a long time!
WOW!!!! Please post and alert me when you do. I would really like to see these!
Wonderful photographs. They are so beautiful but I don’t like their diet
No, neither do I,and I am sure they don’t like ours!
Fantastic photos, Cindy! Here, in rural Ontario, we see them occasionally on plants, trees. I invite them to climb into my hand and they do. I also encourage large moths who have fallen into the bird bath to sit on my hand awhile to dry their wings, irridescent ground beetles and other assorted alien creatures I discover on my walks around my property to rest a while on my outstretched palm. I imagine they think I’m some friendly giant. I am now, and have been since I was a kid, fascinated by insects and none of these ‘creepy’ creatures has bitten me yet. However, the hummingbird is my spirit animal and I adore my little visitors. I’m disappointed to hear they are on the mantis menu. I think perhaps that your California mantis are larger than ours, but nevertheless I’ll keep a vigilant eye out for my hummers after your post. Thank you for sharing. And, thanks so much for following my posts!
I was thinking along these lines yesterday when I posted this. When I was a kid my parent’s good friend was a etymologist. He gave he a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach I named Henry Fife and kept as a beloved pet. Henry never hissed at me because I never scared him. Dr Huffman, the etymologist used to have tarantulas on his arms and explained how to handle them so they wouldn’t shoot their hair at you in alarm. We had a big tarantula at the front door a few days ago and I was happy to see him and take his picture!
Dr Huffman caught horney toads on sand dunes and he showed me how to stroke their horns to put them asleep in my palm. He said they could expel blood from their eyes when alarmed but they were never alarmed. He introduced me to trapdoor spiders with their silken tunnels and clever doors. When I was in high school I helped him with a time lapse photo experiment capturing the migrating patterns of key hole limpets. I used to hold bees as a kid. Insects and reptiles were very interesting to me and animals fascinated me. Now that I am getting old, I am returning to my childhood passions. I haven’t changed at all it seems, although I used to be really certain I had grown up!
It sounds like you and I have much in common~
Certainly in our fascination for all animals, including insects. It all starts with curiosity I suppose and a desire to learn about everything, especially animals. Such rich experiences you had as a child. You had your Henry and I had Mary, a big Australian roach from the Toronto Zoo, rescued for me by a kind exterminator friend of the family who knew I loved insects. It’s wonderful to grow up caring about critters great and small and so lovely to return to your childhood passions. As always, I look forward to your next post and photos.
Hugs to you & gratitude for what you do~
They eat hummingbirds? That’s amazing.
Yes, it is as hummingbirds are exceedingly fast and much larger than they are. They have an incredibly tenacious grip in those forearms.
They’re such alien looking bugs. The way they turn to look at you is eerie. Perhaps one day we’ll learn that they’re more intelligent than humans. 🙂
I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised. They were here before us and I am guessing they will be here after us~
Once again, you’ve captured, with brilliance, the sheer diversity of nature…
Your are a lovely soul Russell. Thank you.
Amazing Cindy– they almost don’t look as if they could be real living beings!!
I always like playing mantis. They are kind of cute and I think they help taking care of some insects too.
Yes they do control insects and even mice!!
A fascinating creature. I didn’t know they ate hummingbirds.
The Holler is insect centrale. I didn’t know why the mantis parked near the hummers, until I finally saw them make a move on one. Live and learn.
Oh no. I hope you chased him off.
I certainly did!
GREAT photo capture!! I did not know that they ate hummingbirds. Wow!
Mice too, and a biology blogger just told me, bats! Bloggers are the best people to learn stuff from!
They are better than Google. 🙂 Incredible!!!
Superb perspective. Be careful, they are really Martians, or Sagittarians. Sad about the hummers.
I do know to be very wary around martians and sagittarians.
Hey! I’m a sagittarian and I don’t look like a mantis 😉
Just how big are they, if they can eat the hummingbirds ? And how do they immobilise birds with such fast rapid wing movements? Presumably they sneak up on them when they’re roosting.
Amazing creatures…but mitts off the hummingbirds!
Your photos are so fantastic! 😀
Ahhh, your kindness makes me happy.
Superb photos. They prey on the hummers?!
Thanks Alison & yes they do!
They look like little aliens! It’s so funny how it looks straight at the camera.
Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
I am not an insect person.. in fact do not mention camping to me .. ever! But I am perfectly happy looking at images of these incredible creatures. Cindy Knoke of course has no such qualms and gets up close and personal with these alien looking beings… The Preying Mantis as you have never seen them before and I did not know that they found hummingbirds edible… stunning photography as always from Cindy. #recommended
You are such a wonderful friend to so many Sally and such a thoughtful supporter too. Thank you so much for all you do. I so appreciate you! <3
I am so happy that I have a blog and can share your photographs Cindy.. I am not sure you appreciate how much pleasure you bring us all.. hugs ♥
Wow! Very, very nice images, Cindy. Thanks so much.
Thank you Isabel and have a wonderful weekend!
I think these creatures are very interesting, Cindy. Beautiful photographs. I didn’t know they ate hummingbirds – that is amazing.
It is an engineering feat on their part since hummingbirds have at least 8x’s more body mass then they do!
#1? It’s great fun Cindy!
Happy you enjoyed. Hope all is safe and well in your home on Abaco~
Beautiful photos of a not so beautiful insect, lol. 🙂 x
You deserve a gold star for open mindedness my friend & happy weekend! :star: :star:
What the heck I gave you two!!!
Ooh la la, thanks. Made my day! 🙂 x
Cindy absolutely beautiful Photographs- I have always thought them to be the most incredible creatures. From what Sally Said I had no idea they attacked hummingbirds. Horrific but amazing!
Yes! There is something entirely otherworldly about them, but since they have been here much longer than we have, maybe they are more justified in thinking this about us more recent interlopers!
Wonderful photos and the reflection adds an eerieness. We do need to embrace the insect world too. I guess they are as bid or bigger than a humming bird. We don’t have humming birds here in Europe but have had a praying mantis on my porch. Seemed more praying than preying.
“Seemed more praying than preying.” Love this! And yes, this why they got the name!
I wonder if they are reincarnated double glazing salesman. 😀
tee hee hee……There is a remarkable similarity!
Thank you for the beautiful photos of these extraordinary creatures!
Thank you for being a person who sees beauty and value in difference.
Wow, beautiful photos. I’ve never seen them this close (used to be terrified of them as a child). Terrified!
I can understand that completely! <3
Haha! I was terrified. But they look beautiful in a photograph….
Your gift brings nature home to us! Thankyou Cindy 🙏🏻💚🍀☘
What a thoughtful and lovely comment. Thank you & cheers too!
Wonderful! They do look like aliens! Thanks for the great close-ups.
Thank you more for appreciating them!
I dig his looks. One thing that gets me is how still and patient a mantis can be. They certainly look to be praying, and it usually ends up pretty well for them. Hmm.
Yes, they are like lethal chess players!
Certainly true! When they say “checkmate,” you’d better check if your head’s still there!
As long as it doesn’t sting. it looks like one of them we had in London. They liked to crawl in the bathroom at summer time. And we called it “daddy long legs.” Took me back in the days when my daughter was a little girl. she went to bathroom, and if I heard her screamed, I knew it was “daddy long legs” that had given us a visit. ahahaha. poor thing she was really scared of that little silly creature.
I used to love playing with Daddy Long Legs as a kid. Poor spiders!!
hahahah you made me laugh so much to read that you played with them as a kid. Don’t let my daughter read it, cause it was her worst nightmare of her childhood hahahahah what a laugh. poor daddy long legs.
Laughing…poor daddy longs legs is right. They must have seen me coming and been more terrified than your daughter….”Oh no, the huge, horrible monster creature is coming BACK and it will pick us up! Run…………”
A great set of macros, neat looking double shadows!
Thank you. I admire your photography as well.
I LOVED this post, Cindy. I think preying mantis are so very cool, and your photos, descriptions, and final line about us all being alien creatures was great.
Happy you enjoyed and you know I am a sincere admirer of your photography~
So happy you do & cheers too!
It’s the time of year we see some large praying mantises landing on our picture window. Drives the cats crazy! You got great shots of these, and their reflections.
Yes. Same here. Minus the cats. I always look forward to seeing the Mantis~
Alberto Mrteh (El zoco del escriba)
He is an impressive insect and he and I, thank you!
Wow! Amazing! The images and the shadows – so glad I saw this.
So glad you liked it and told me! Thank you & cheers too~
Keep chasing that old preying mantis away.
Thank you & I will!
Fabulous impressions, Cindy! 👏🏻
You are very kind. Cheers to you & hope all is well~
They’re mean and fascinating and temperamental and beautiful. And they’re spitters and I spit back. And good for the girls, they know what’s going on!