About two months ago while George was splitting wood he came across two large green caterpillars that had burrowed into a log. Unfortunately, one caterpillar was squished by the wood splitter, but we rescued the other caterpillar, safely tucked into the log, and put him in a homemade bug house for observation.
A mesh mandarin orange bag + two embroidery hoops = a quick and easy home for creepy, crawly critters
Within days the caterpillar created a cocoon, and within weeks we forgot about the bug house sitting on our bookshelf. Until yesterday, as I was putting books away and noticed a change in the cocoon.
Our winged friend had hatched, and he was huge! Two inches long to be exact. We carefully observed him all afternoon; well, the kids took a look then went on to bigger, better things, while mommy sat and watched in wonder as the moth crawled out of its house, periodically shuddering and shaking its wings.
I'm sure moths do not imprint like other winged creatures, but I swear this newly hatched moth thought I was its mother, proudly snapping picture after picture of the newborn.
He crawled off of his house, across the grass, onto my skirt and over my lap, then headed up my shirt towards my face. While I was fascinated, I was also beginning to freak out. My instinct was to brush him away, but I didn't want to hurt this newly hatched, fragile creature. I hollered for George, who carefully scooped him back into his house. Phew - mother saved from mothra.
I checked on him all evening and late into the night, expecting him to fly away, yet he never even stretched his wings to their full capacity. He crawled all over the patio, but like any mother I was worried for him, afraid he would be snatched up by a hungry predator. This morning he was gone. I presume he finally realized his awesome power of flight and took off into the night to find a good meal and perhaps even a mate. I can almost see him, wings spread, silhouetted against the nearly full moon, missing the subtle citrus scent of his former home, thinking of his worried mother, but thoroughly enjoying his new set of wings and the delicious taste of freedom.