Earlier this month, I was watching and listening to birds at the edge of a field, when I caught sight of a non-bird flying in my direction. I watched the flyer land on a Goldenrod (Solidago sp.) stalk some 20' away. With binoculars, I was able to pick out the creature and recognize him/her as a type of Mantis.
With camera in hand, I approached the insect and admired how the coloration of the Mantis was nearly a perfect match for the Goldenrod perch. The only exception was the black-and-white "eye spot" on the inside of each front leg. I later learned that these eyes are characteristic of the European Mantis (Mantis religiosa).