It did not seem amused at our attention. If you click on the picture to get the larger one, the mantid's head looks a bit freaky. For an even cooler picture, check out this one from another blog with obviously a much better camera and more talented person behind the lens.
I deliberately planted this member of the legume family (Cassia corymbosa, or Senna corymbosa depending on whom you ask) to be a host plant for various species of sulfur butterflies. I'm rewarded with tons of butterflies ranging from pale yellow to almost orange, especially in the fall.
It's a Where's Waldo with birds, though this yellow breasted chat isn't trying very hard. A great example of Zahavi's Handicap Principle if I ever saw one. I must confess that I had to have help id'ing this one from Plantwoman as A) I'm not much of a birder and B) this guy has never shown up in my yard before.
This hawk was also a new visitor. He's either a Cooper's or a Sharp shinned hawk. I can't tell, but either way, birds of prey are always wickedly cool. At first, I had no clue what he was doing on my fence. I live in a new subdivision where I think me and 2 other people have bothered to plant anything, so there's not a lot of habitat potential going on. But I do believe that I have a family of small field mice that are eeking out a living in my garden. I saw the hawk pay close attention several times to where the I suspect the mice live. He even jumped down off the fence once to make a strike but came up empty.