I have seen two live walking sticks, other than in photos. This one was on our deck tonight. The other one found its way into the house a few years ago and made the mistake of trying to walk on a packing tape dispenser.
For the record, Loy and I worked toothpicks under its feet, and then inserted tissue between them and the tape. Last I saw, that one was negotiating the woodpile just fine.
I think this is one of the most elegant creatures in nature. You would have to be so obsessive/compulsive to actually be able to spot one in a tree or on a bush that I would be hesitant to enter more than a casual acquaintanceship with a stick insect specialist. Anyway, heeeere's the stick from Battle Creek. From antennae tips to the tip of its curious tail end, this one was a little over 5 inches.