I've always had a great fascination of the Praying Mantis. It's like having a tiny version of some prehistoric predator in the garden.
Last year I spied a newly hatched mantis on my Butterfly Bush. I couldn't find it after that for about two months and then came upon it as an adult when I brushed against the bush later in the summer. I was so thrilled to have found her again. From then on, I was constantly hounding her like paparazzi on poor Brittany Spears. I got dozens of pictures of her doing nothing but hanging upside down, waiting for her next meal. I was even lucky enough to see her enjoying a meal or two.
Then one day I caught her walking up a wall near the plant that she'd spent her life on. She was going off to die. It took me days to find her egg sac. I was rewarded richly when I did. It is the most beautiful color of purple. I don't know if mantis' eat plant matter, but it looks the same color purple as the flowers on the butterfly bush. No matter.
I check it every day now that it has warmed up. I have a distinct memory from 7th grade biology class of hatching a mantis egg sac. How marvelous the tiny little creatures were---almost microscopic, but perfect replicas of the grown version. I can't wait to share the tiny miracles with my kids. I'll try to get a picture or two and start my mantis stalking all over again this year.