Lunas in the Porch Light

Image

I moved to the Ozarks about a decade ago. I no longer live in the city and have a neighbor 10 feet away. I bought an old farmhouse on 7 acres about 5 miles from town. Close enough to be able to get the things you need to get by, far enough away to see stars at night. My first year was all about learning the rhythms of nature through the seasons. Peepers and whippoorwillsΒ start talking in May, tree frogs in June, cicadas in July and August – it all goes quiet again in October.

My first spring here I noticed that if a light was on in a room at night that flying insects would congregate on the windows – sometimes lots of them. If ladybugs get into the house they will hit their shells against the table lamp or TV looking for the light. One night I heard a very loud flutter against the living room window – it sounded like a bird crashed! I heard it again and saw something the color of a tennis ball swirl in the light and heard the window shake. I went outside and thought it might be a great green parakeet or something – but the flight pattern was so circular and random.

The next morning I went outside and saw the culprit – it was a Luna Moth. Now at the time I had no idea what that was – it’s color was amazing, but it was huge, larger than the palm of my hand! It was so beautiful that I watched for it to arrive the next night and it did. It only visited me for a few days and it was gone – until the next spring.

What follows is my photo study of this years visitors. Typically a moth lasts for 10 days and dies. A new generation arrives about 10 days later and after it dies they are gone for the year.

Image

This shot is taken from inside my screen door – their bodies look a lot like the pupae stage of the moth.

Image

Image

Their bodies are covered with scales that look like fur

Image

Image

They vary a bit in size and vividness.

Image

Image

That crazy flight pattern is how the males find the females – those antenna pick up the scent

Image

Image

Image

Image

Their tales flutter wildly when they fly

Image

Image

This shot was taken with a 40 year old Macro lens on a bellows

Image

Image

They eyespots have a translucent center.

Image

Image

This guy got into my house and I was worried he would hurt himself before I got him out the door.

Image

Image

I would leave my porch light on in the day time so that this one would stay.

Image

Image

This one fell off the screen as I tried to close it – he rested on my step for about an hour.

Image

Image

The edges of their wings almost look like woven tapestry to me.

Image

Image

Sometimes the lower wings have a scalloped shape.

Image

Image

This one was smaller than the rest and he stayed perched inside my smaller light fixture on the back porch.

Image

Image

This image was also captured with a manual macro lens and bellows – in it you can see the scale structure clearly.

Image

Image

This is another macro and bellows shot of just the antenna.

Image

So now they are gone. Summer is on it’s way in the Ozarks.

21 thoughts on “Lunas in the Porch Light

  1. Pingback: March on Film Roll #4 – 1974 Olympus OM-1n | the eff stop

  2. I’m back at my happy place… right here. πŸ™‚ I’m seriously stalking this page! Hehehee!
    Love from Rach

  3. PS I just shared this post on Facebook! πŸ™‚ I’ve got lots of animally and arty frends who will LOVE this! πŸ™‚ Love from Rach

  4. I’m not sure whether it be simply just everyone or if everybody else having difficulties with your blog. It appears as though many of the text inside your articles are generally working from the tv screen. Can someone else be sure to supply feedback along with let me know if this describes developing in their eyes too? Pest problem with my own internet browser for the reason that I’ve truly received the following happen formerly. Thanks

    • HI Tacy, Not sure if this helps, but I’m not having any difficulties seeing the photos or the text (both in and out of images) in this Blog. Hope your problem gets resolved soon, cuz this is Amazing! πŸ™‚

      Artsifrtsy, omg, this is Stunning! I Love that green, and I’m so excited to see they’ve remembered purple as well. πŸ™‚ I now have another “happy place” to visit! hahaha! Seriously! I shall definitely be scouring your Blog for more amazing photos. This has “feel good” all over it! And I love the info you’ve shared here too about these moths. I never knew about them before at all. Are these photos all of the same moth? You are gifted!!
      Love from Rach πŸ™‚

      • Hi Rach – The album is made from photos taken of about 6 moths. There is one that I shot more than the others – he had a black mark on the right side of his back. He was pretty large and was not bothered by me at all. I’ll check out the text in editing – the text on the photos is a part of a sketchbook project – it is embedded in the text. I’ll double check my comments. I am doing some of this from my iPad and some on my Mac – so I wonder if I have an issue. Thanks to both of you for following up!

        Lorri

        • Hi Lorri,
          Nice to know your name. πŸ™‚
          Is the sketchbook project you mentioned the Arthouse Sketchbook Project, by the way?? My sis-in-law did a sketchbook for that (AMAZING!!), and I signed up to do one, but the sketchbook arrived way too late for me to be able to. I’m totally intrigued by that, and would LOVE to visit a sketchbook library one day!! Hopefully something like that will take off here in Australia one day! πŸ™‚ If yours isn’t from that sketchbook project, never mind, my brain just jumped on that. Hehehe!
          Now I’m back on this post I shall have another look at your beautiful moths! πŸ˜€ Any excuse whatsoever! hehehee!
          Love from Rach

          • Yes it is from the Arthouse Sketchbook Series – it’s my third. This one is for the limited edition tour. It’s printed on canvas and hand bound – the only thing I ke[t was the ID sticker:) My 2012 one is on tour now – It’s the first one I rebound. It’s a photo series as well, I will probably do a blog with it soon. The first one I did was 2011 – I just took the book and made a photo journal out of it – not much to it. I just got my 2013 in the mail last week. I love the process, it makes me filter things down to 32 pages max. I like picking a theme and running with it. I may do it on Carhenge:)

          • You inspire me! πŸ™‚ It’s awesome to hear of someone improving their sketchbooks each time, and enjoying them so much. My sis-in-law was seriously pushed for time making hers, even though it was Gorgeous in the end (I saw it before she posted it), so it was uite a stressful thing for her. And, well, mine didn’t even have time to happen. I’d Love to see your other journals, in Blog form! πŸ™‚ And do share what you do with your 2013 journal!
            I’ve never heard of Carhenge, will have to look it up! πŸ™‚ Sounds like a Carnigie Stonehenge (my mom’s a Carnegie). πŸ™‚
            You have Much more to Blog here, and I have Much more to see! Yay!! πŸ˜€
            Loe from Rach πŸ™‚

          • I appreciate that. I look for any chance to make myself “self critique” I taken thousands of photos a year, trying lots of exposures – I need to whittle down the best of my work and the Sketchbook helps me do that. I did a blog on Carhenge – it was mostly a change to shoot a kitch tourist site at sunset. I like kitch sometimes.

            Lorri

          • Lorri,
            May I please have your permission to repost your racoon and luna moth Blog posts on my Blog? I’m Needing a happy place there for people to recharge at. πŸ™‚ I Fully undestand if you’d rather not share your beautiful photos and stories. It is a personal thing, I totally ge tthat. I can find other happy place ideas if you’d rather. πŸ™‚ Yours is just my favourite right now and my friends have been loving your luna moths on Facebook where I shared the link. πŸ™‚ PLEASE say no! if you want. There is no pressure at all! πŸ™‚ Just happiness.
            Love from Rach

  5. I’m blown away! This is the most beautiful moth Ever!!! I grew up in the Philippines and we used to get Atlas moths regularly- Huge, but not nearly as colourful. I seriously hope you’ve got some of these luna moth photos on your walls. They are extraordinary. They look so fluffy!! LOVE this post!!!!! Miss D. X

    • Thanks – I bought a special Macro light – looks like antenna – really helps in the dark – I keep the camera by the porch when the lunas are in town πŸ™‚

Picture your comments here:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s