At long last the weather has turned cool enough to go for a walk at lunch time. A lot of wildlife seems to feel the same way. Today, there were insects everywhere! We found this gal walking down the middle of the road:
She's a member of Stagmomantis californica if I'm not mistaken (someone please tell me if I am) and one of the loveliest I've seen.
We didn't want her to get squished so we scooped her up. She immediately started walking up my arm. Perhaps she wanted to try on my hat? She's so big it almost would have fit her.
We gently deposited her on a bush before she got to the hat though. Poor mantis. Maybe another day. Then we found this guy:
Sadly, he (or she) hadn't been plucked from the road in time. I think this is a black witch moth (Ascalapha odorata), which usually lives in Mexico but apparently migrates around this time of year. This guy was huge! Here's my foot for comparison.
Although it should probably be noted that I only wear a size 6 shoe. Still, rather impressive! I hope there are others around. I'd love to see one flying. Apparently some are so big that they're mistaken for bats.
So there you have it. A genuine insect safari, right outside the front door.