Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Lone Luna...

On a warm spring day, the luna moth emerges from its cramped winter quarters, 
a small silken cocoon, and immediately begins to "inflate" its wings. 
The wings will take a few hours to fill with fluid and assume flying shape.

Once ready for flight, there are few creatures more alluring 
than this delicate denizen of darkest night.

Her grace and beauty are other-worldly,
as if she were an emissary from the goddess Luna herself,
drifting like a solitary moonbeam across thousands of miles of darkness
to enliven our humdrum existence
with a measure of mellowest moonshine.

Luna, like her other Saturniid kin, has no functional mouthparts;
eating is for the caterpillars.

Her brief, brief life is for mating,
or for naught...

Not yet fully inflated, and still damp from the morning's light rain, 
the diaphanous green wings will be ready by nightfall.

And then,

and pheremones,
and perhaps a rendezvous...

Luna moths were almost nightly companions in the summers of our youth. 
Drawn to the lights in the churchyard, and at the schoolhouse ,
and at the ball field and over at Beck and Dan'l's house,
they swooped and flapped and danced their way into the heart and the imagination.

Today their numbers are in steep decline throughout their historical range. 

Here's hoping that tonight this lone luna does not alone remain...

1 comment:

  1. I've not seen one of those in a loonng time.