It was while exploring Banteay Kdei temple ruins when I first saw a Praying Mantis out in the wild. While this is no big deal to many people, we don’t have those in Canada so I was pretty excited to have spotted it there and gotten a chance to take pictures.
This little bug was trying to look inconspicuous by sitting on a stone heated by the sun. Unfortunately, I only had my wide angle lens with me so the chances of taking a decent close up picture of it were nonexistent. Having had no previous experience with Praying Mantises, I didn’t know how vicious they were with humans.
Even though I didn’t have appropriate lens on my camera, I still wanted to take at least some pictures of it but with wide angle lens on, the only way get it was by shoving the camera in its face (even then too broad of an area would be captured, but that’s all I could do). But what are Praying Mantises capable of? Will it jump on my hand when I get too close and bite? I didn’t know for sure so I kept what I considered a safe distance.
I’ve seen many more Praying Mantises since and never had any of them attempt to attack me so I’m guessing my concerns were unfounded. I even had Praying Mantises spring out of the grass and land on my leg on a few occasions but there’s never been any attempt to bite me or anything of sort. So I guess after some experience with those I can safely assume that although Praying Mantises are pretty vicious with insects they feed on, when it comes to objects much larger in size, they play it nice.
I wanted to take Ha to the Royal Independence Gardens – my favourite place in Siem Reap. I really like it there so I thought she’d enjoy it too. And since it was a beautiful day I was not gonna use to go to Angkor Wat, I thought of at least taking my camera with a telephoto lens to the gardens and try to snap some pictures of the Fruit Bats Flying so the day doesn’t go to waste entirely.
I fully realized that taking pictures of the Fruit Bats flying during the day was not gonna be easy, but I still wanted to give it a try. Bats are nocturnal animals so coming to them during daytime would mean catching them in the middle of sleep but with a little bit of patience, I may be able to see some of them flying. From what I have noticed, Fruit Bats are pretty vicious with one another and fight a lot when they are supposed to sleep. As a result, one is bound to take flight and move from one branch of the tree to another. That was gonna be my opportunity which I really didn’t want to pass on so I can complement the pictures of Fruit Bats sleeping with pictures of them flying.
Obviously, because of how high in the trees they dwell, it was gonna be difficult to get a decent close up photo even with a telephoto lens mounted on the camera. Armed with a great deal of patience, I’ve explained to Ha that the gardens are truly beautiful and the shriek of Fruit Bats magical so we were gonna stick around and enjoy the heat while I would keep my camera on standby to snap a photo should any of the sleeping flying foxes get awaken and take flight. The pictures in the gallery below capture these beautiful, huge bats flying against the blue Cambodian sky: