Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Said I could take his picture...

Face of a praying mantis.Praying mantis, Ft. Washington State Park, Sunday morning.

Ft. Washington State Park, north of Philadelphia in Montgomery County, borders the Wissahickon Creek on both sides. I drove into the parking lot off of Bethlehem Pike Sunday morning to take some photos. This section of the park is essentially a large field of uncut grass, a wide swath cut around its perimeter serving as a trail. It is hot here now -- we're in the middle of a heat wave -- and the air was already heavy by mid morning.

Grass field at Ft. Washington State Park.The edges of the field were thick with vegetation, including wild raspberries, and Queen Anne's lace. I moved in to take a photo of the latter, and noticed a small face regarding me.

It's that regarding part that makes praying mantises so interesting. I believe they are unique among insects in that they have the ability to turn their heads, which they will do as you draw near. Very alien, and yet very human at the same time.

Praying mantis on Queen Anne's lace.

6 comments:

Abraham Lincoln said...

I think I have only seen them here two or three times. I did manage to take their picture a couple of years ago. And mine looks like your's. I wonder if there is any physical differences?

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

Great close-up! I agree, they are rather alien like :)

Just Roaming The Cities said...

The top shot you took I swear (in light of my recent trauma) it looked like a snake face! But wow, they disguise themselves so perfectly, don't they?

Lori said...

Amazing!! I've never seen the face of the praying mantis before. I like the way you described them as slightly alien. He looks like he could be a little martian. That's a fantastic macro shot!!

Carl said...

How did you convince him to smile for the camera?

Halcyon said...

Great capture. They are neat insects. I think he was posing for you!