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

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