Dance of the Sugar Plum Praying Mantises

By chance I look out the window and there's a mantis sitting on the outside sill. So I whip out the camera and go to town. (Click a picture to see a larger version.)

This shot gauges the distance to the target.
As I approach, the subject turns around and looks directly at me - kinda spooky, with those huge green eyes.
I get the bright idea to set the camera on the sill for clear, focused closeups.
This is the best picture in the set. Notice the mantis has his forelegs folded up in the prayer position.
His narrow horizontal profile lets him almost disappear.
Pretty soon he gets agitated and extends his forelegs menacingly.
He dances around, trying to frighten me away.
This shot without the flash shows how parts of him are translucent.
All the activity outside attracts the attention of the resident bug hunter inside.
After the cat goes away the mantis turns around and relaxes a bit.
About then I notice another mantis, noticeably larger and with brown eyes, just truckin' past nearby.
It moves quickly to the neighbor's wall, where there is a small green one staying really still for some reason.

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