5.20.2008

Hatched

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.

bug house

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.

hatched

hatched

hatched

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.

hatched

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.

hatched

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.

hatched

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.

17 comments:

  1. Wow! A little creepy looking, but very cool. It reminds me of the Little Bill episode where all the children are given butterfly crysalis' but little Bill's was a moth.
    We had a big moth on our front porch recently - I will post it on my flickr acct. I thought maybe yours was going to be the same type, but it was different. Both big and creepy, but different.

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  2. okay, WAIT, that is one of the most clever inventions i have seen in a long time.

    i love it. i love it.

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  3. That is so cool. I love those lessons -- like when my family and I watched the baby birds grow in eggs and then hatch, and then learn to fly . . . and then one die (on the patio). Ahhh life is beautiful and cruel -- and gross. I was admiring a fat spider in a stunning web tonight (in Florida), and then it ate something very quickly. Ewww.

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  4. Wow, cool. Awesome story along with, too. I'll try to imagine him that way too, silhoutetted against the moon, rather than gross and motrha-ey and buggy.

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  5. I hopr that moth isn't in your yarn stash or your sweater drawer, a big guy like that would decimate all your wool!
    I think you are the best daughter a person coluld have.
    Love
    Dad

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  6. Oh my goodness, your Dad's post makes me well up. How sweet.
    You are a pretty cool person Molly!
    That moth is a little creepy to me though. You are a brave woman. :)

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  7. what a really beautiful post. really.

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  8. that is one of the coolest things i've seen in a long time. cool post. cool experience for you and your kiddos.

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  9. Hi- I love insects, but there was something about those photos that alternately fascinated me and made me nauseous. Creepy crawly feeling. Weird that this might be dinner if I lived in Central America. Or if my grocery bill stays outrageous...
    also: I emailed you back...thanks so much...

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  10. That's great! Funny, too. My 3-year-old loves butterflies and is afraid of moths. They are very different.

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  11. What a neat post. I really liked the photos and also your story about the moth!

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  12. The scary wolf face on his back creeps me out! He wants to eeeeeeeat you!

    You could totally sell your handmade bug house, you know. People would pay a fortune! Now, whether you would feel guilty taking money from those poor souls is another issue. ;)

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  13. I love the bug house that is wonderful, and I must copy! The story is great. I would have done the same thing. Stay watching, mesmerized long after my kids gave up and lost interest! Great post thanks!

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  14. Well, now here's the thing: your post is poetic and beautiful and does justice to the beauty and wonder in this amazing process.

    But, dang, I just don't like bugs. Took me right back to junior high science classses. Nope, I just don't like 'em.

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email: mollydunham@sbcglobal.net
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