Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Day of Many Moths

I found this Cecropia Moth cocoon last December and brought it home to hang on my screened porch, exposed to weather and light conditions similar to where I found it.  I'd almost given up on it, it looked so dry and lifeless.  So imagine my surprise when I walked out on the porch this lovely sunny afternoon, and this was what I saw!  What a spectacular creature!

Afraid that my cats might capture and kill it if I left it on the porch, I carried it gently outside and placed it on a Mountain Azalea shrub to rest until it was ready to fly.   If it's still there tomorrow, I think I will return it to the place I found it along the river, where its chances of finding appropriate food and, most importantly, a mate, are probably better than in my inner-city neighborhood.

Wow!  Aren't they something, those furry red legs?!

Many other kinds of moths DO find my neighborhood quite to their liking.  This Bumblebee Moth was hunting for nectar among Ground Ivy flowers just a block from my home in Congress Park.  Yes, I know it's a blurry photo, but that moth was on the move!  There were great big Bumblebees searching the same flowers, and this moth's resemblance to them was really uncanny.

Then, close by, I spied this vivid black, white, and orange moth flitting among the Black Raspberry blossoms.  It, too, would not sit still for its portrait, but I did manage to capture an image of those furry orange tufts on its legs.  This is an Eight-spotted Forester.

Here's an older photo I took of this same species of moth, revealing its beautiful symmetry.  And just look at those orange leg-warmers and ermine epaulets!

A wonderful day for moths.  And for me, too.  My daughter Jane and her family surprised me tonight with a birthday party at Pennell's Restaurant here in Saratoga, where my son Phil is the chef.  Phil sent out wonderful dish after wonderful dish for us all to enjoy, followed by a delicious and beautiful cake that my daughter made.  I am such a lucky lady, to have such a loving family.


Ian said...

Absolutly beautiful moths and great photos.

asita said...

That is absolutely amazing, the big moth.

Woodswalker said...

Thanks, Ian and asita. I'm sure you've seen the mating pair by now. What really amazes me is how this moth's beauty has so little to do with attracting a mate, since the male uses his big feathery antennae to locate the female by scent, not by sight.