Back at the end of May I found this tiny mantis hiding out in the big rosemary bush. Well today I was pulling grass that was growing up through the bush when I found this mantis
I don't know if its exactly the same one, probably never will. But it certainly has grown if thats the case. This one is already a good 2 1/2 inches and I'd guess is going to get bigger still. I took the pictures in the beautyberry after I'd brought it out of the rosemary to show to Banished Jr.
I particularly liked this shot of its giving itsself a pedicure
And I'm always pleased when they turn that inscrutible and wonderfully alien gaze on the camera.
Probably our most common dragonfly in the garden is the Blue Dasher. Once we reach July the numbers climb rapidly and you can find them perched on every other fencepost just like this one. Its always a good measure of how hot the sun is when you find them posed like this with their rears sticking up in the air. This behaviour is called obelisking and is used to control temperature. When a dragonfly thinks its hot then its pretty damned warm.
They are also pretty laidback and of all the dragons in the yard they are the easiest to get close to. Even if you do spook one into taking off then just keep still and likely as not it will return to that same perch almost straightaway. They have very striking green eyes.