I am so excited about this moth not only because she is beautiful but also because I have a weird story to accompany her photo. Pretty (sometimes dead) things are so much more interesting when they come with a story…
Last year in a coffee shop in Mancos, Colorado I bought an old book called Moths and How to Rear Them, to hoard as a funny coffee table thing. Bored one night, I began filling in the old black and white photos with colored pencil. Of the eighty-eight moths featured in the book, I chose a species known as Hylophora Gloveri, or Glover’s Silk Moth. I colored only this moth because I have the attention span of, yeah, well, a moth. I had never heard of the moth before, I just liked its muted earthy dust colors.
A few days later a rare Colorado rainstorm dropped this very same moth on my sidewalk.
"This must be a sign!…of…uhh…something!" Is what I would have said if I believed in signs.
Instead I said: “Whoa that is a very peculiar coincidence.” And then I looked around to check for aliens, or more likely witches or something because I am watching too much Supernatural. Don’t ask me why paranormal entities want to waste their time bestowing me with dead moth gifts; that’s their business, not mine.
Though I made a few amateur modifications, I tried to follow the methods outlined in the book to display the beautiful little creature. I made a relaxing jar—which softens the body and allows it to move without crunching to bits— out of a film developing tank because I am such a hipster. I probably did a terrible job so if you follow me and happen to be a moth-mounting-expert, please just forgive me and know that I did the best I could with my shaky coffee-addict hands. Evidently, the Whisker of a Lion makes an ideal mounting instrument— I am serious, that is what the book actually says— but as I do not know any lions who are willing to part with their whiskers, I had to use less sophisticated technology. I know that the wings are meant to be parted more, but I prefer this calm resting look to the spread-eagle-grade-school-dissection sort of aesthetic of author and moth enthusiast Paul Villiard.
She has a wingspan of about five inches which, I guess, is as big as these lovely creatures get. Somehow, the storm only tattered her soft little wings slightly. I think I prefer the imperfections.
While I would love to start a collection, I would pretty much have to pay a lot of money to raise a moth and eventually murder that moth and I am no good at killing things so I would end up with a lot of pet moths to take care of. I’ll guess I’ll leave my collection up to chance for now.