Lethal Prayer - let this prayer be ignored...

When I returned to room after having dinner, I found an interesting creature in my room. It's a Praying Mantis, also called Praying Mantid, so called due to its positioning of fore limbs. Mantis means Prophet in Greek. But do not get misled by it's humble appearance. Its a carnivore.
Praying Mantis
It feeds on other mantises, Insects such as butterflies, beetles, grasshoppers, flies & crickets. At the bottom of this post there is a link where you can see pictures of a mantis that has caught a hummingbird. It uses it's fore limbs equipped with razor sharp spines to deliver a fatal blow that will penetrate it's prey & it quickly bites the neck of the prey before starting to eat.
The one I saw was brownish in colour & they vary from Green to Pink & flower mantises are magnificently beautiful with flower like appearance. This is essential to it for it's survival as there are so many predators such as Birds & spiders that feed on them. Also Mantises use their camouflage to catch their prey, as unwary victims pass-by without noticing it.
The size ranges from 0.5 cm to 30cm in size. Prating Mantis with pen for size comparisonThe specimen I found was a very small one, where I have taken a picture of it with a pen for size comparison.
The mantises are helpful in keeping the pest populations at control, but they eat friendly insects too without any discrimination.
Read more about Praying matises,


Mount Lavinia Hotel

Mount Lavinia Hotel Coat of Arms
Almost one year ahead of our wedding day, we started to search for a venue for the occasion. It was a difficult task, as the venue should match all our requirements, including suitability to host a traditional wedding.
When I started to climb the stair case at Mount Lavinia Hotel, I knew this would be the ideal location for the big occasion, with its colonial architecture & picturesque surroundings.
Fountain at the entrance to the Hotel
Mount Lavinia Hotel celebrates its 200th anniversary this year. There is an enchanting love story bound with this place. This mansion was built in 1806 by Sir Thomas Maitland, British governor of Ceylon (now called Sri Lanka). He had fallen in love with a local dancing girl, Lovina Aponsuwa, which had made him name the mansion Mount Lavinia, which later on was used to call the surrounding area itself.
Birds eye view of the Hotel
Due to the nature of his state, governor could not marry this village lass. He had a secret passageway leading to her house well, which he would use to meet her frequently.
Maginificient Staircase
He remained a bachelor, when he left the country to England & remained so through out rest of his life.
This mansion was used by several Governors who came to office subsequently (Sir Edward Barnes, Sir Robert Brownrig & Sir Edward Paget) & was converted to a hotel in 1877 & stays so to this date.

Colombo city seen at night from the Hotel

Mt Lavinia Hotel also has a unique asset, Master Chef Pabilis, who is an expert on local, rare-to-find delicacies. Also they offer exquisite western & oriental cuisines.
Visit Mount Lavinia Hotel web site, read about its history here & click here for reservations

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