Where the Wild Things Are- National Moth Week

Another wild weather week. It must be summer in Minnesota. Between the high temps and humidity, and heavy rains, opportunities to get out were few. The woods don't care, the summer rolls on with early plants fading and summer ones just blooming. The August/September blossoms are yet to come. Yellow Loosestrifes are common, the fine differences still eluding me. Harebell spreads across the forest floor, almost hidden in the greenery. Berries are popping out all over. Bunch berries in thewetlands. Currants well guarded by spiny branches. Solomons Seal, real and false, Starry and otherswise lurk in the undergrowth.

Turk's Cap Lily, Evening Primrose, and the early thistles, Flodmans and Canadian are in bloom. All of these flowers attract the pollinators. Bees, flies, butterflies and moths fly up at every step. We are all used to the beauty of butterflies. Monarchs and Viceroys, Fritillarys and Commas, tiny Azures. The moths we tend to dismiss as boring and bland, not worth a second glance. Hopefully I can persuade  you to give them another look. In the last two weeks I have seen moths that are almost 4 inches across, tiny ones that blend so well with the foliage you wouldn't know they are there, and everything in between. I saw a bright yellow one that I was sure was a butterfly, until I blew up the photo and saw the antenna. By the end of the summer I will have seen twice as many types of moths as butterflies, keeping in number with the amount of species in each family. And I will be lucky to see 10% of the species that live out there. Many fly only at night, and those that fly in daylight love the underside of the leaves. 

The end of the month brings us to National Moth Week! There will be events around the country, that most people will never know happened, focusing on moths and learning about them. So what can I do, but do my part to spread the joy? I will be mothing (yes, that is a word) in the evenings. Moths love warm, dark nights. Mothing involves spreading out a sheet and turning on a light. Like a moth to a flame is more than just a saying. Moths come to light. No one really knows why. So you go out there in the dark, not at dusk when the mosquitos are vicious, and see what appears before you. It will not only be moths, other insects will also appear from the darkness. If anyone wants to join me, just let me know. I will be setting up around the village with a sheet and a light and seeing what is out there. It is an adventure close to home...

 Le Conte's Hapola Moth

Le Conte's Hapola Moth