Friday, August 28, 2009

A Face Not Even a Mother...

So there I was (my favorite story intro EVER), cleaning out the bizarre world that is known as the underside of my porch where all things landscaping related are thrown throughout the year. Summer lasts for a fleeting moment around here (three days, approximately) and it was time for autumn clean-up. I was wondering what I should blog about this time around. The utter failure of a garden that marked my summer, the kids playing in the sandbox, fat horses, dogs, the miraculous wonders of exterior spray paint? "No, no, none of those things would interest my readers," I thought to myself. And then my ears were greeted to two positively delighted little squeals.
They had discovered my arch-nemesis. Green, orange, blue, spiny with bright yellow suction cups for feet. I suffer for this blog, I really do. Have you any idea how hard it was for me to take these pictures, let alone get up close and personal?
And don't even mention having to research this creature to discover its origins! For those in the know, you will recognize this fat five inch long horror show as the full grown larvae of the Hyalophora cecropia, or Robin moth. It lives predominantly on the East Coast but has a range extending west to the Rockies. Apparently this thing will soon spin a cocoon using its cocoon spinning "apparatus" (this anatomy part of biology class eluded me) as well as the leaves of the tree that it chooses to over-winter on.
The best part of this whole lesson? It will produce North America's largest moth next spring -- the Robin or Cecropia moth that has a wing span of 4.5 to 6.0 inches. Fantastic! These are the moments when I wish I weren't so environmentally conscious. Insecticides don't cause problems, right?
And most interesting of all? The moth form of this creature does not have a mouth. It has a life span of approximately 7-10 days during which time its sole purpose on this Earth is to reproduce. You should ponder that fascinating fact for a moment. You really should.


  1. You should keep that moth so your children can watch it make a cacoon and become a large moth. It would be great to blog about.

  2. Yuck! Those things scare me. This is totally unrelated to this post but can you spare a few pieces of wheat from the silo to send home with Mom & Dad? My 9 year old neighbor walked up to me the other day and wondered what wheat right out of the field would taste like. I told her I could arrange for that and she doesn't believe me.