When the praying mantis congregate along the front of my house, seeking the protection (from chilly overnight lows) the warm southern exposure offers:
Clinging to the beige stucco (in the early AM's and late afternoons ~ during the day they disperse a bit), they are more readily seen then during the summer months. Prior to the change in seasons, I'm lucky if I flush one out of the vegetation (usually by water spray). Sometimes we see them climbing the screen doors in the evenings, pursuing bugs attracted by the porch light.
My niece frightened us all (praying mantis probably included) one summer night by shrieking loudly upon spying one hanging on the door! While putting up holiday lights or during spring clean up, I always come across a few egg cases (often attached to grass stalks in my front garden, or tucked amongst the rocks of the retaining wall). Last year, I found this one right next to the front faucet:
A likely place since they spend lots of time here until the cold really sets in and kills them. For the most part I'm happy to share my garden with them but I was shocked upon reading Robin's blog to find out they also prey on hummingbirds. I have never witnessed that nor do I see them on my feeders. Nature is a never ending wonder, isn't it??