I spent a couple of hours tidying up in my courtyard on Saturday morning; trimming the ficus trees, weeding, sweeping up dropped leaves and completely filling my Green Waste bin.
This little guy kept me company for a while, wandering around all over the stool I had been using to try and reach the tops of the ficus trees (with limited success). It was the most beautiful pale translucent green little mantis. At one point he/she was folded in half, nibbling or licking its own tail, something I had never seen one do before.
I sometimes think of my courtyard as The Kingdom Of The Spiders because we have so many of the litle buggers. This guy is a Leaf Curl Spider, one of the ones who curl up leaves to make little shelters to hide in. They seem to especially like the leaves of the ficus trees, and while I was trimming the trees I had to be careful of them. Especially because the idea of having one of them on me wasn't that appealling.
I try not to kill anything while I'm gardening, but it's sort of impossible to avoid. Just sweeping up the leaves I know that I'm probably killing lots of tiny creatures. Or at least scaring them half to death. Consequently, I probably look a bit like a crazy person as I garden. Picking my way around tiny creatures, and muttering mantras for beneficial rebirths for all the creatures I'm killing.
Given the massacre I'm making, it's like the least I can do!
[As usual, click the pics to go to Flickr and see larger versions of these photos.]