Full-Screen Cecropia

When the body is still, the rest of the world can look like an action-packed movie. A few days ago it was the doe I watched from the porch. Yesterday, I observed a woodchuck foraging through the lower portion of the old home site, where nettles, jewelweed, wild yam, and weeds abound. Through the binoculars, I observed that its face was round and personably and its body similarly pudgy. Soft hairs, growing lighter towards the tip of its nose, caught the afternoon light perfectly and I watched as it shifted and reflected while the woodchuck stretched its body.

Today, I have watched a mature cecropia moth sleep on the other side of the windowpane near my temporary desk. Its legs are as furry as a bear’s, its feelers lush and ornate as bamboo fans, and its wings like patterned silk quilts from overseas. This moth is the biggest of the silk moths in North America and, just inches from my face, I get to watch it rest during the lightest hours of the day. By nightfall, it will stretch and flap, fluttering its wings gently for a while to dry them and warm them, then in one push, lift off and flutter into the night. Much later, between 4 a.m. and dawn, if this moth is a female, she will release her scent and invite a mate.

Learn more about cecropias here.

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