Thursday, May 12, 2011

Luna Moth

This Luna moth surprised me outside the door of my cabin yesterday afternoon.  I left the porch light on and it must have been attracted to the relative brightness on that sunny day.  Luna moths lay their eggs in leaf litter under trees (a reason not to rake leaves) or on the underside of low growing leaves.  They emerge from their cocoon and wait a couple of hours for their leaves to harden before flying off.  Their usual life span is seven days, during which they must emerge, harden their wings, mate and lay eggs for future caterpillars.  They are in the same family as the silk moths and, while their cocoon is silky, there are so few Luna caterpillars that it is both impractical and unwise to harvest their cocoons for silk. 
I am thankful for the variety of trees and plants around the cabin which give me the opportunity to see beautiful creatures that cities have cast out.