This afternoon I joined Cameron and his classmate Payton at Hill School where they completed a field study for their science class. We spent 30 minutes observing a small area of wildflowers and bushes to document the butterflies and other insects in the ecosystem. While Cam and Payton mapped out the spider webs and drew the butterflies they saw, I caught a few with the camera. One of the highlights of our study was watching a female praying mantis who was hunting in one of the butterfly bushes. While she was moving she was easy to spot, but when she paused to stalk she was almost invisible. While moving in for this photo, I disturbed an adjacent branch slightly. She slowly rotated around to stare directly into the lens. After a few shots, I retreated. Even though she was only four inches long and still 12 inches away, she was quite intimidating. I’m glad I wasn’t one of her prey.