climbing slowly up
an orange pumpkin, preying mantis
at season's end
Right outside the door to the Fairfield Civic Center, a preying mantis is slowly climbing the side of a pumpkin, part of harvest decorations in a pot of chrysanthemums. The brown coloration seems to peg the insect as male. Autumn is mating season and so far he has survived that, as well as near-freezing nighttime temperatures, but he will not survive the winter. He looks a bit bedraggled. His leathery outer wings are partially open, revealing the delicate hind wings, folded like a pleated underskirt. When I come back out, he's gone, maybe hiding among the fading flowers.