The Moths Are Back…

Have you seen them? I’ve been noticing for a few weeks now…moths are hatching all over the place, from the tiny little grain moths to your average paper moths, to the small and very oddly shaped moth (at left) that hung out in my kitchen for a day last week. I caught him and released him in the backyard, but only after I made him sit still for pictures. I wish I’d been able to get a picture of his wings spread open, because he had the most beautiful “eye” pattern on each, but he wasn’t cooperating and my cell camera isn’t *that* good, unfortunately. Still, kind of a cool little thing.

This past weekend I was watering a flowerbed and a larger moth fluttered up out of the weeds (yes, I’m *that* neighbor…sorry). It only flew a few inches, but long enough to give me a good look at the bright orange patterns hiding underneath the dark brown and black outside of its wings.

I’m not a huge fan of grain moths. You could almost say I hate the little things, because they force me to keep my cereal in the fridge. I suppose they have a use of some sort, though I’m not quite sure what it is, other than to drive me insane, and occasionally end up backstroking in a drink.

I’m not all that fond of paper moths either. For some reason, they creep me out. A single one is fine, but a bunch of ’em? No thank you. A few summers ago I was leaving for work, and got “rained” on as I was leaving by a bunch of them who had been sleeping in the top track of my screen door. It was like a gray, fluttery curtain, and I had that itchy “bugs crawling on me” feeling for the whole rest of the day.

Another time, I found a dead one in my water bottle (stainless steel/opaque) after I’d almost finished drinking all the water. I’m guessing it had gone in there the night before, and then drowned when I filled the bottle up the next morning. Talk about serious motivation to brush your teeth (after you get done gagging and hoping you didn’t just contract some sort of exotic “spread only by moths” disease). Needless to say, I now always (*always*) rinse my water bottle out before filling it in the morning.

As you might have guessed, the story I’m editing right now, The Dry Rain, was inspired by those experiences. Paper moths and larvae everywhere, taking over the world, ruining crops, starving us out.

I do kind of wish we had those huge, hand-size moths here in Montana. Maybe we do, but I’ve never seen one bigger than a few inches wide. Some moths are really cool looking, and some are just plain gorgeous.

Paper moths are…neither. *shiver*


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