Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Drawing A Luna Moth

For some reason, we have been blessed with several visits from these luminous-looking creatures over the years. When they do put in an appearance, they're usually found hanging out on or near our front door.

Until Friday morning.

As Chris was about to leave for work, he spotted something odd laying in the driveway. Upon closer inspection, he found a Luna moth. It was no longer capable of flight. He carefully picked it up and brought to me.

You see, I collect bugs. And snake skins. And animal skulls. And other bits and bobs. And yes, I'm aware that's a little odd, but it works for me.

I set the moth up high on a shelf near a light source until it left this earthly plane.

When I have seen these in the past, I was always so impressed with how thick and velvety their wings seemed. More so than other moths and butterflies. Or so it seemed.
I kept the moth under a glass bowl for protection from a naughty cat that lives with me. 
This little one did not seem nearly so hale and hearty. The wings were nearly translucent and the overall size was not nearly as large as some of the others we've seen. The other visitors have shown up in May or later. Perhaps our non-existent winter had something to do with the early arrival.
These moths do not eat or drink as adults and only have a lifespan of about seven days. Their only purpose in adulthood is to mate and reproduce the next generation. Since we have none of the trees that they like to lay their eggs on, it's always a little bit of a surprise to find one by the door.

I chose to paint him on toned paper as I was hoping it would give an indication as to how translucent the wings actually are, but I don't think I quite captured that look. This was sketched using ink, watercolor, and watercolor pencils.

Now that I have a "specimen" in my collection, I'm sure this won't be the last time it will make its way into my journal. You just never know what you'll find if you keep your eyes open!

Have you found any unexpected gifts from nature lately?
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7 comments:

  1. Lucky you. I have never seen them sitting with their wings folded.

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    1. I was very fortunate Chris found it when he did, Lisa. As I understand it, they're quite the tasty treat for the birds!

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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, Cheryl. I am enchanted with these moths and their short life cycle. Something so beautiful here for such a brief time!

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  3. Dear Laure - wonderful subject. We do occasionally see them here in Ohio but generally around August or September just before a hard frost. Thank you for sharing. Your sketches are perfect.

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  4. What a lovely creature, and a lovely sketch. I don't think I've ever seen one in person--can that be possible? I'm sure that naughty cat was most interested in this new addition to the collection.

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  5. Amazing details you've captured. I think the colored paper works well especially to show off the white or lighter color. Looks very delicate.

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