Saturday, July 12, 2008

Holy Cow!!

Beth Bergman wrote those words in the subject line of the e-mail she sent on July 8, with pictures of a creature she'd seen and photographed on the new Moth Tree near the Carousel. I published a small version of it here on July 9th. Here's the big version:

So what is it? It's a Nessus Sphinx, a moth in a family of large-bodied moths called Sphinx Moths. Unlike the Underwing Moths that are strictly nocturnal, coming out only as night falls, the Nessus Sphinx is crepuscular, active in the late afternoon and mainly at dusk. It vanishes for the night just before the Underwings start arriving.

Meanwhile, the Underwings are coming, the Underwings are coming. Two days ago at the Moth Tree near the Boathouse we saw our first Ilia Underwing of the season.