While Praying Mantises are reasonably common, they're also exceedingly furtive, so any sighting is an event. Typically, I have to go looking for them, and even though I'm pretty sure where in the shrubbery and meadows these ferocious predators are likely to be found, I fail to locate them more often than not. Effort rewarded, of course, is a genuine blessing, but maybe the best blessing of all is when I'm rewarded for, well, "lifetime achievement" and the object I wasn't even aware of seeking comes, unbidden, to me. So it was that, when I went outside this evening to try to call in the wandering felines, I noticed a member of the Mantis religiosa clan perched on the kitchen porch railing and eyeing me with what always strikes me as curiosity. These large, handsome, and quite fearless insects have a rather endearing habit of watching their watchers, and this elegant creature is certainly no exception. An introduced species native to Europe, the Praying Mantis is now so much a part of our biota that it's actually the state insect of Connecticut. I wonder what it sees: probably the moths that are attracted to the porch lights—a kind of Mantis smorgasbord.