August 28, 2015

Postscript on Moths

How odd. Since I published that last post, I'm just not seeing moths any more, even though I'm looking. It's like they've all gone into hiding!

However, today I *did* see another one (just one), but I didn't realize what it was at first. Not at all. I have NEVER seen one like this before. I wasn't even sure what it was. It looked like a wisp of dry grass stuck to the outer wall of the building, but its perfectly symmetrical T-shape caught my eye. When I looked closer, I saw legs and antennae, but... what on earth?

It looked sort of like a tiny airplane.

I ran inside and googled "white insect T-shaped." Right away, many photos of this unusual creature showed up. It turns out to be a plume moth. Yes, a moth!

I don't have my camera with me today, so I have to borrow other people's photos for this. This is what the creature looked like, only I didn't see the legs at first, just the white T, probably about as wide as a dime. says of it:

"The tiny, T-shaped Plume Moth is easy to recognize once you see it. There aren't many moths like it." [No kidding!]

"Their thin body and T shape make the Plume Moth unique. Their wings have the appearance of a bird's plume (feathers) and when at rest, the moth rolls both wings into a rod shape." [What! Emphasis mine] "The result is an unusual profile for a moth." [I'll say.] "When perched, they resemble a vintage propeller airplane.... Larvae roll leaves and then eat them." [Ha, a lot of rolling going on here!]

Here is a photo which I believe shows what the wings look like when they're unrolled or unfurled:

It turns out there are many varieties and colors of these moths.

[Does anyone know what a moth-ologist would be called? I think I'm turning into one!]

I am going to end by posting this photo I found while searching for photos of plume moths. I really just have no words for this—the sheer cleverness of it..... unbelievable.

There is a long Psalm that says, "Praise Him, ye snows and rains... Praise Him, this and that..." but I don't recall moths ever being mentioned in that Psalm. 
I sincerely wonder why not. 

August 21, 2015

Moths and Other Cool Critters

One day last month, I noticed a gorgeous pale green moth near our office door at work. I was just entranced by how beautiful it was. This got me started on a project to see how many different kinds of moths I could photograph around here in a few weeks. There are so many! I was amazed by the variety I found when I actually started looking. It was such an interesting project. Now I'm ready to share all my delightful finds!

This pale green velvety moth is called a luna moth. Its edges and "eyes" are so perfectly and delicately "painted," I could just admire it for hours. 

The protective coloration and shapes really intrigued me. Here is a very small moth that would hardly be noticeable if landing among yellow fall leaves:

I don't know the name of this moth, but it has such beautiful ripples in its coloring, and would blend in with tree bark so amazingly:

This one is hard to see against old or splintering wood:

A perfect, tiny white moth:

A perfect white moth with spots:

This one would also blend in beautifully with fall leaves (it was about the size of a silver dollar): 

This one was very tiny but so beautiful. It even has a tiny golden fringe around the edges of its wings!

A tiny, lacy grey moth:

I called this a "Dominican" moth. I first saw one of these on some rotting wood which had originally been painted white, so it blended in very well with those surroundings. But so you can see it easily, I took a photo of it against a contrasting background.

Another interesting coloration:

Doesn't this look just like a crumpled dead leaf? Amazing.

 Now I know this isn't a moth, but I had to sneak him in here because the coloring and patterns just fascinated me. Is this where people got the idea of camouflage, I wonder? He is staring right at me with his little beady eyes.

 One day I saw this old brown leaf stuck to a floodlight outside.

But whoa, it wasn't a leaf. It had legs and beautiful, perfect antennae!

I took many photographs of this one, but the light was in my eyes and it was hard to get a good photo.  I finally poked it very gently with a twig to see if it would open—which it did. The "eyes" on its wings appeared to be empty holes! And it still looks like a raggedy old dead leaf.

But then, the most wonderful discovery of all.... In this photo I was astounded to see that the wings were not actually flat, but rather rippled! I never even imagined this.

Finally, to one my favorites. I had to wait to finish my project until I found one of these. What does it look like to you? Yeah, something not very nice, I'll bet.

 God has such creative ideas for how to protect certain critters. LOL!

Now from the ugliest to the most beautiful, perhaps. Molly calls these moths "princess moths" because, surprise, they feature her favorite color, pink! And it's a lovely pink, I would say. She also pointed out to me that this one appears to have a golden braid down its back. I had not noticed that myself. Most of the photos online of this moth (a rosy maple moth) 
don't have that unique characteristic. 
This is about the size of a quarter.

I have a suspicion that maybe they are meant to blend in with the flowers of the mimosa tree, but I am not sure. Here is a gorgeous butterfly enjoying mimosa nectar.

I was very pleased with these final two pictures, so I think I'll end here with this grand finale!
 This little "project" was so much fun, and it really opened my eyes to God's creativity. 
There is no end to His imagination!