July 18, 2010. Wow, I'd seen photos of luna moths before, but I'd never seen one for real. This evening, Amy was sitting on the patio, and spotted what looked like a white leaf in our burgundy-leaved 'Diabolo' ninebark, right above our little pond. I was called to the scene in short order, approaching oh so carefully at first, afraid to disturb the majestic creature. But Mrs. Luna seemed entirely unperturbed, so I got closer, stepping into the pond to take pictures, and finally snapped off the entire branchlet she was clutching. At that point, I figured we had found an expired moth ("She's pushing up the daisies!"), but a little later, she let us know through little movements that she wasn't quite ready to meet her maker (although she must have known her life was short: Luna moths live for only about a week as adults). When I'd taken as many photographs as I knew what to do with, I positioned her back in a nearby shrub. By that time, it was pretty dark outside. Soon after I had set her down, her wings started a trembling motion, so I stuck around for a while, waiting to see what would happen. I was kind of expecting a slow rousing, an elegant start of flight - but it was much more sudden than that: abruptly, she quickly fluttered upwards, made a single loop-de-loop over the patio, and took off over the house. No doubt, in search of a boy-moth and some tasty trees for her offspring to enjoy. A delightful end to a hot weekend.
Luna on Diabolo