Working in the yard this afternoon, I encountered this tiny praying mantis barely more than an inch, who kept his eye on me the entire time I tried to photograph him. The color in the background is some garden tools that I was using to dismantle a large tree branch that crashed from the neighbor’s tree into my yard (taking away my afternoon shade) and the mantis is perched on what’s left of the branch. I had to invoke my inner Ron Smith, my late husband who I swear could cut up a 40 foot oak tree and stuff it all into a single green waste container. I managed to cut and saw everything into small enough pieces and stuff most of the branchlets and all of the foliage, into my green waste container. I think even Ron would be impressed with my accomplishment. Plus, the endless dumbbell rows I do at the gym paid off when I sawed off the branches, making the task relatively easy. The heavier branches have really weighted down the container so the mantis is praying that I can manage to schlepp this heavy can to the curb on pick up day. Now only the 6 inch diameter carcass of the fallen branch remains, too heavy for me to move off the lawn. Maybe the mantis will also pray that somebody will appear with a chain saw and cut it up for me.