Praying for a Mantis

We are walking in Abruzzo in Italy at a height of 1,500 metres above sea level. It’s invigorating:

Abruzzo - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Amongst the grass are beautiful blue spikes of what look to me just like Sea Holly, Eryngium maritimum. It can’t be though, not at 1,500 metres above sea level. It must be another Eryngium. Maybe it’s Eryngium alpinum? That would fit better with where we are:

Eryngium - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Then I notice a long green insect on one of the beautiful purple plants. It’s a Praying Mantis. It’s the last thing I expect to find in the mountains:

Praying Mantis - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It has long antennae, a swivelling head, fabulous claws and lots of attitude:

Praying Mantis - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It’s as spiky as the alpine holly:

Praying Mantis - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I didn’t mention they are close relatives of cockroaches:

Praying Mantis - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

As we walk on there’s another:

Praying Mantis - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

What an amazing place to live:

Praying Mantis - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

For people and for Mantises.

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