The Praying Mantis population in my yard has provided many hours of fascination with their antics and habits. Today I saw the first newly-emerged ones for 2014.
This year we have more than a dozen egg cases and I gave away about five more. They favor the Forsythia bush for placement of egg cases, but this year we found them on a Rose bush, a chain link fence, an evergreen and even on some tall weeds.
Their favorite spot in the summer is the Butterfly Bush, where they catch lots of insects and mate when mature. They only live for one season and the egg cases hold the next generation.
Backyard nature study is entrancing to me and I recommend it to all. Even a weedy vacant lot, such as the one I visited as a child growing up in East Orange, can yield a lot of interesting insights into the natural world.