I find mantids throughout the garden this time of year. I found a particularly large one recently (see photo). They’re fascinating – I think they’re the only insect that can move their head independently from their body. I’m compelled to watch them closely, yet I succumb to spasmodic, violent thrashing if one should attack accidentally fly into me. I once had a small-ish one land on my leg from its perch in an Oak tree. It’s alien head swiveled up to meet my eyes, and then darted upwards (generally towards my face). I broke into instinctual ninja moves to thwart the engagement, but I think I managed only to amuse the mantis and dislocate my neck in the beating.