Praying Mantis (Mantis religiosa) are very fascinating and easy to photograph, once they become accustomed to your presence they almost seem to pose for the camera.
“Mantis religiosa is a mantis species native to temperate areas of Europe, Asia and northern Africa, but has spread around the world and is now well established across the United States and into Canada. Outside of Europe it is known as the European mantis; in Europe, it is known simply as the preying mantis. It was introduced to the eastern US in 1899. In 1977 it officially became the state insect of Connecticut. The European mantis is 5-7.5 cm long, usually a shade of green with brown, usually well camouflaged in its surroundings, and also difficult to see because of its usually motionless stance. There are several other similarly large mantis species also commonly found in the United States: the Mediterranean mantis (Isis oragoria), the Chinese mantis (Tenodera aridigolia, and the native Carolina mantis (Stagmomantis carolina). The European mantis can be distinguished from these by a distinctive black bulls-eye pattern on its coxae (most proximal segment) of the fore leg.” –EOL (Encyclopedia of Life)
Originally photographed on a cold rainy day in Scotland, December 2007 these photos have been re-edited in Lightroom bringing out the hidden nuances.
“The Falkirk Wheel is a rotating boat lift in Scotland, connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. The lift, named after the nearby town of Falkirk in central Scotland, opened in 2002. It reconnects the two canals for the first time since the 1930s as part of the Millennium Link project.
The plan to regenerate central Scotland’s canals and reconnect Glasgow with Edinburgh was led by British Waterways with support and funding from seven local authorities, the Scottish Enterprise Network, the European Regional Development Fund, and the Millennium Commission. Planners decided early on to create a dramatic 21st-century landmark structure to reconnect the canals, instead of simply recreating the historic lock flight.
The wheel raises boats by 24 metres (79 ft), but the Union Canal is still 11 metres (36 ft) higher than the aqueduct which meets the wheel. Boats must also pass through a pair of locks between the top of the wheel and the Union Canal. The Falkirk Wheel is the only rotating boat lift of its kind in the world, and one of two working boat lifts in the United Kingdom, the other being the Anderton boat lift.” -Wikipedia.
“Rhyolite is a ghost town in Nye County, Nevada. It is in the Bullfrog Hills, about 120 miles (190 km) northwest of Las Vegas, near the eastern edge of Death Valley. The town began in early 1905 as one of several mining camps that sprang up after a prospecting discovery in the surrounding hills. During an ensuing gold rush, thousands of gold-seekers, developers, miners and service providers flocked to the Bullfrog Mining District. Many settled in Rhyolite, which lay in a sheltered desert basin near the region’s biggest producer, the Montgomery Shoshone Mine.” -wikipedia