Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Beauty in Death

“What we call ‘death,’ is but the painful metamorphosis.”  
 Edgar Allan Poe - Mesmeric Revelation

While continuing to recognize National Moth Week, I thought I would take my revelry in a different direction and celebrate the beauty in their death. After all, thanks to their affinity for bird and bat attracting porch lights and limiting biology, many moths have rather short lifespans. However, it's comforting to know we can still appreciate their beauty, long after their little moth souls have left their bodies.

This lovely luna most likely departed this world in violent manner. I explained to a friend that the tragedy lies in the short time we get to spend with these unique creatures due to their natural short life span, about 7 days. She disagreed and felt the saddest thing of all for this sweetie is its lack of mouth. How awful to live for seven days without a belleh-full!

The scattered limbs and missing wings do not detract from the haunting beauty of this moth.

I suspect this Polyphemus moth was the very one playing peek-a-boo with me in the morning. Alas… he should have flown for the safety of the woods like I suggested. Now, he’s just a lovely remain.

Last Flight of Polyphemus by Cozytailmom on deviantART

In life? Peek-a-boo!

“…for Mercutio’s soul
Is but a little way above our heads,
Staying for thine to keep him company.
Either thou or I, or both, must go with him.” 
Shakespeare - Romeo and Juliet

Every picture I took of this luminescent moth had an aura. I suspect, like Mercutio, this white ermine's soul hovered a bit before leaving us. 

Finally, a bleak reminder that death comes to even the prettiest among us. Obviously he's not a moth, but RIP swallowtail.

"Only the perishable can be beautiful..." -Wallace Stevens

All photos by me

Monday, July 21, 2014

Big Beetle Blog

I know it’s Moth Week, but I did promise a big beetle blog, so here you go!

I went out at 7 a.m. or so to check out the moth scene on the front porch, a site of many peculiar and fascinating insect sightings.
I can typically spot anything regardless of its clever camouflage, but miraculously I did not notice the gargantuan beetle right away which seems silly looking at it in this picture. It’s like a boil on the side of the house.

I took about 25,000 pictures, at least, and was impressed because I had no idea we grew them so big in these parts. I had to research the species and suspected that I had finally found an elusive undocumented species that I could name after one of my children.
Turns out, a lot of people out there on the web have come across them and, like me, thought they found somebody's lost exotic pet from Madagascar. I believe it is a variety of native rhinoceros beetle, female. Although I did minor in Biology at VT, I’m not actually an entomologist. Shocker! Please kindly let me know if I’m wrong. 

She hung around for a couple of days. I was hoping she would attract a mate because the males are pretty cool with their rhino horns, you know… Google them.

How about those smart photo captions above, eh...? Not among my more creative moments.

For scale, here is my sweet, cooperative son posing next to the beetle. I got him out of bed to see it because I’m that kind of mom, and I was afraid it would be eaten or buzzzzz off… (hehe)

I also made a video of my sweet, less than cooperative daughter meeting the beetle. It’s safe to say she does not share my enthusiasm for adorable bugs. Ha!

All and all, I took the scarab-like insect's appearance as a sign that we most definitely needed to check out the Tutankhamun replica exhibit at the Science Museum of Western VA and eat at Bayou Snowballs that very day!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hey! National Moth Week is Coming Up

What do you mean you never heard of it? It's next week! The project is considered a "citizen science project" so go check out their website here and help out, if you can. 

To celebrate, I'll post some of my recent moth shots for which we can thank the porch light!

First, one of my favorites, the lovely rose moth, (Dryocampa rubicunda).
Rose Moth by Cozytailmom on deviantART

Crazy green owlet on a screen (Leuconycta)

Green Owlet on the Green Screen by Cozytailmom on deviantART

Handsome banded tussock (Halysidota tessellaris)

Banded Tussock at the Front Door by Cozytailmom on deviantART

Another view of this sharp dressed moth that I was unable to add to the deviant page for some bizarre reason. Humph

Have I got more? Heck yes!

How do you like this giant leopard moth? (
Hypercompe scribonia)

Giant Leopard Moth by Cozytailmom on deviantART

...and lastly ( for now.. ) one of my favorites of the summer so far, the clymene moth (Haploa clymene).

Clymene Moth by Cozytailmom on deviantART

I'll certainly post more moths in the next week, but first you can expect a CRAZY beetle blog. I mean, a knock your socks off and don't step on THAT thing kinda post.

All photos by me.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Bonjour mon cher

I have had a difficult time classifying this moth, but I do know that it speaks in a cheesy fake french accent. How can it not? Check out the sultry eyes and curly mustache. I love this guy, bad pick-up lines and all!

Sultry Eyed Mustache Moth by Cozytailmom on deviantART