A Sachem - a real survivor (for now)
About the only decent thing that the former owner's of our condo left us is a perennial pink Sedum 'Autumn Joy' plant that blooms around this time every year. It's the only nectar source in our area and, basically, the only plant that attracts butterflies (I'm working on improving that). This single plant is a hotbed of activity. On Thursday, I found two Tawny-edged Skippers nectaring and then fornicating on the grass nearby. On Friday, I found a Praying Mantis hanging out on the plant for the second year in a row. When I went out an hour later, the mantis had scored himself a sweet looking honeybee (Sorry Birdchick). Check out this video of him chowing down. The noisy background is our AC.
When I went out on Saturday, I witnessed a Sachem land on the same flower head as the stealthy Praying Mantis. The mantis lunged at it, but the skipper barely escaped. Later in the day, I passed by the plant again and saw some skipper wings strewn about the flowers. I guess he didn't fail twice.
Today, the mantis is back and there are 4-5 Tawny-edged and Sachems and a bee or two milling about. For one small plant, this thing sure delivers!