Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A Marvelous Moth

In the three weeks since our move out to a more country setting, we have constantly been amazed and delighted at the differences from our previous “city” home. God has truly blessed us in our location and surroundings, and we can’t wait to discover all the “country benefits” in the months and years to come. One such benefit, of course, is the open and varied land around us, which provides homes for a rather different array of wildlife than we were used to see in our “backyard”. We have pheasants squawking frequently both in our backyard, and across the street in the cornfield. Deer have also frequented our “back acre”, and been seen racing across the road and fields around us. Josiah is thrilled with the seeming endless supply of frogs in our swampy corner, and has spent several hours stalking and catching them. We find something new everyday.
Despite the delights of seeing all the wildlife mentioned above, we were blessed to meet one of the more rare and beautiful parts of God’s creation shortly after we moved in. I (Charity) was out examining the large rose bushes in our front flower beds one morning, and in turning away, caught a glimpse of a large, colorful object near the base of one of the plants. My first thought was that it was some strange discarded lawn ornament, because of its size and brightness. Upon closer examination however, I was shocked and delighted to find that it was a beautiful Cecropia Moth, recently emerged from its cocoon! I carefully transferred it to the screen on our enclosed front porch, where we could watch it slowly fan and dry its lovely wings.

The Cecropia Moth is one of the rarely seen Giant Silk Moths, native to our area, but a real treat to see up close! The large green caterpillars will feed on a large variety of trees and bushes, including maple and willow, which are on our property. There is only one generation of Cecropia’s each year, and by late summer the caterpillars are ready to spin their cocoon and prepare to wait out the winter. Another interesting fact is that the Adult Moths do not have mouths, and cannot eat. They only live a brief two weeks, during which they find a mate and lay their eggs, then they die.
I have always been a fan of butterflies and moths, and so I was familiar with the Cecropia moth, but never expected to see one in person, much less hold it! I am so thankful that God allowed us to see this exquisite part of His creation up close, and glimpse another small part of His infinite creativity!