Winging It

Emperor moth wing

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

I stumbled across this gorgeous wing on the floor of my barn and felt awed by its beauty. I did some research and learned it belonged to an Emperor moth. Now more aware, I’ll be watching and hoping to see an alive version of this insect.

That wing’s fluffy featherness, its pattern and texture, fired my imagination. My mind tried to visualize it in a larger version, perhaps as an impressive headdress that could suggest one’s stature and intent.

Sure, it’s only a moth’s feather, but “only” may be a conclusion way too-limiting. More research reveals that Emperor moth wing textures and patterns have inspired fine-art.

Insect Wing, Watercolor by Lily Rhy

Finally and it’s hard to believe, I’ve never pursued an answer to a long-standing question: What’s the difference between moths and butterflies? This wing, forcing more research, has taught there are few differences. Moths and butterflies look alike and belong to the same insect family (Lepidoptera). According to “Science Bob”, their differences are visual:

  • Butterflies usually rest with their wings closed, while moths rest with their wings open.
  • Butterflies have long, thin antenna, while moths have shorter feathery antennas.
  • Butterflies generally gather food during the day while moths are seen more at nighttime.
  • Most moths make a silky cocoon, while butterflies usually make a shiny chrysalis

There was no research that suggested moths do create holes in clothing and butterflies do not.

Becoming better informed is a pleasantry in this new life. There’s plenty of free time to explore various and often obscure notions and ideas. I’ve already rambled on about breadmaking. Here’s a new one: today’s first cup of coffee is from a little Mr. Coffee instead of a big Keurig. Finally, I’ve laid to rest a giant countertop machine and erased having to purchase uber-expensive coffees.

Even the smallest learnings, the smallest simplifications of daily living, can be feel goods.

Dear Friends: Ideas that float on butterfly wings, now may also on moth wings. Diana

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