No, this is not a post about a Chinese herbal remedy you need to boil for an hour before drinking.
Here is a praying mantis that was waiting outside my block the other night. She kindly waited for me to go inside and get my insect jar (patent pending), let me catch her and take photos before I let her go again. The wings of the female are only half-size.
They look so amazing when they take their prayer stance. If I am careful perhaps I can let one walk around on my hand next time. In a favourite book, My Family and Other Animals, Gerry has a pet one. Now I can see why. They are so fascinating.
I think a net might be a less stressful way to catch a mantis. She certainly looked very unhappy in the jar for those couple of minutes - I was compelled to release her.
This is a male (note full length wings) I saw on a wall outside work in Manuka a few weeks ago.
When I woke up the other morning, I pulled aside my curtain to peer gingerly at the morn, as you do, and this dragonfly was right in front of my face. We had a rather one sided conversation, but he or she was then happy to wait for me to grab my phone and take a photo.
In my front yard, which is a generous description of my circumstance, I found five diferrent fungi and lichen beneath the oak trees in one square metre. They were then artfully arranged for this shot, but I only moved one stick.
That's about the nature of it.