It was a classic horror movie moment.

At night,the cats often jump up onto the window sill to watch the moths that gather when the living room light spills out into the darkness. They were both up there when I walked past,so I stopped by to watch the moths with them. (The cats like it when I participate in their activities.)

Here’s the audio transcript:

“Hi boys,are there moths? Big fluttery moths? Wow,those are sure [SHRIEK!] HOLY CRAP!!!”

I lept backwards as a giant moth –the size of your hand –thumped against the window. I caught a glimpse of giant eye spots and thought,“Polyphemus moth!”I have always wanted to see one of those. I’m a dork that way.

polyphemus moth

Excited,I grabbed a tupperware container and my digital camera and went outside. However,the moth wouldn’t fit in the container, so I trapped it under my hat,then maneuvered it into a casserole dish.

(By the way,the people who gave me that casserole dish as a present are regular blog readers. Hi! Thanks for the casserole dish,I use it all the time! Mostly for cooking casseroles,I swear.)

polyphemus moth

Flappy McFlappersons finally settled down enough that I could take some pictures. I went outside,carefully lifted the lid,and started snapping away.

polyphemus moth

This one’s for those of you who love it when I poke the weird stuff I find out in the yard.

Having a blog is hard sometimes.

polyphemus moth

That’s a hellova set of feelers! I am pretty sure they are not for the purpose of sticking into the ears of unwary humans.

polyphemus moth

After I turned him out of the casserole dish,he paused on the deck just long enough for me to take this wonderful picture of his full wing spread. Will you LOOK at those eyespots? Outstanding!

Hell of a way to end the day,I tell you.

15 comments to FlutterflutterflutterTHUDflutterflutter

  • oh drat
    NOW you’re going to have me trying to photograph MY visiting huge moths [ which are not quite as gorgeous or as big as yours but still impressive ]

  • Oh man,that’s one *gorgeous* moth! Espcially love the last two pix –yes,beautiful eyespots,and lookit the furry cuteness! Oh god. I’m sitting here at 4:09 a.m.,squeeing over the furriness of a moth. Hi,another dork here. Not normally over insects,but moths and butterflies I except from the usual reaction. [g] Still. I just wanna pet him/her.

    Do we ever get lunas up here???

  • Wow,thanks for sharing. I am envious,have always wanted to see one also.

    He’s beautiful. About how wide is that wingspan do you reckon?

  • Wow. He’s amazing. And that close up is a great shot!

  • Okay,you and my friend Annie are having a backwoods blogger synchronicity party,aren’t you?

  • Wowzers. That is one honkin’moth. Oh,and I like it that you photograph insects and lichens and slimy stuff,and I like it even more when you poke it,so there.

    I had a luna moth whacking itself against the screens in my office last week but I’m not creative enough to have photographed it,er,didn’t have a casserole dish handy. Maybe next time.

  • Katharine

    I am SO glad someone else is out in the middle of night photographing insects. Excellent close up of the antennae!

  • Erika

    I would say the wingspan was about 5 inches. It was almost exactly the size of a 3×5 card (fold in half,flap like wings).

  • Patti

    I am all wound up on your behalf! SO COOL!!! I never see anything like that in the city. Is there some trick to attracting them?

  • Kelly

    Wow. Thanks for posting the pics–so fuzzy!
    What did the cats do whilst you were poking? Lick their lips and purrrrr?

  • Okay,I just put up my insect find of the day,which is so not as pretty as yours…but extremely facsinating anyway. he’s way down at the bottom of the post…my cat never offers to rescue me from crawlies,flappys,or scootchies,but does go after the hoppys. Cami

  • Erika

    Patti,try leaning really close to the window and not suspecting anything. Worked for me.

    Seriously though,I think you’ll only find them in the woods,since their caterpillars have specific requirements. You might be able to lure some to a flashlight if you went out to one of the wooded parks at night –this is the time to try it,since they seem to all take wing in one very short period per year.

    Kelly,they stayed on the other side of the room. I think they were intimidated!

    Camilla –eeeeeuw!

  • Gorgeous moth —I love your pictures…

  • Patti

    Erm. That’s a little like not thinking of an elephant.

  • Wow! That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing your photos!