I think living in the Midwest is great. You can see all kinds of things in nature, whether it be crickets, birds, squirrels, the occasional bear or whatever. However, I like to key in on insects and this week one caught my eye.

I was walking to take the trash out, when I looked over towards my wife's car and saw something sitting on the car hood. The size of whatever this thing was, intrigued me. At first glance from afar, I thought grasshopper, but as I got closer, it clearly was not. This was a large praying mantis. This had to be one of the biggest ones I've ever seen. I thought as I got closer, the insect would fly or jump away, but instead it stood on the hood of the car.

I was able to put my hand next to it, and it was bigger than my hand. According to National Geographic, the normal size is .5 to 6 inches long, and this had to be a good 8 to 10 inches long. I haven't seen one this large in a very long time.  I ran into get the camera and Diana came out to see it too. She too was intrigued and took this photo.

I think at first glance, you may think it's an alien invasion, or maybe it's time to watch Starship Troopers and take on "the bugs." In this instance, we let him go and haven't seen him since.

It seems the insect population has been bigger this year. Have you encountered some larger insects this year? Feel free to share your photos or stories with us.