European Mantid, Mantis religiosa; yup, this one's the "real" Praying Mantis. But it isn't one of our native mantids. (Obviously, if it's called a European.)
Most North American mantids, native and introduced both, are on the small side (under 3"); Chinese Mantids are the huge ones (over 4"). Both the European and the Chinese mantids were introduced to the United States by well-meaning gardeners in the late 1800's for pest control.
Note the white dot on the black spot in its armpit (click on photo to see it) and wings that run all the way to the end of the beastie--key features that make it a European mantid. The Carolina mantid (2-2.5", with wings that are shorter than the abdomen) is our only native here in the East. [*hee-hee-hee* I bought a new bug book; I think I picked the right one.]
Yes, it's a skipper. And I even know which skipper because our local butterfly guru was conducting a garden walk: Sachem.
Egads, another skipper. (Will, the butterfly man, usually finds around a dozen species of skipper on his surveys at CMBO/CRE.) And again, an ID thanks to Will: Salt Marsh Skipper; it's the only one here with such long, slim wings. (Skippers are as bad as dragonflies for difficultly with an ID. I'm learning the damn things against my will!!!)
Much more to my taste: yet another hairstreak, this time a White M. Seriously. Can't you see the "M" below and to the right of the orange spot? (Okay, so it's actually a black and white M... Whatever.)
Also saw the wee little black-legged, yellow-bodied crab spider again but instead of running insanely around the mint, this time s/he was hiding under a floret with only two front legs visible from above. :o(