What is rarely displayed in my career as a Domestic Specialist is the fact that I did, in fact, graduate with a B.S. in Biological Sciences. And the cold hard truth is that you simply can't take the Biologist outta the Mom! So while working on building the patio with Zack last fall (you see I'm also a construction supervisor as well, emphasis on the supervisor portion) the kids spotted a yellow and black, hairy caterpillar struggling to make it's way through the grass, and I just knew we had to keep it.
Before long the caterpillar was munching away on a lettuce leaf in its lovely new abode, the kids bug trap. The way the thing was eating you'd think it was getting ready for winter hibernation. Well dadgum, it was! Three days later the little bugger had begun building it's chrysalis in the corner of its new home.
Fast forward to five months later. Garrett (my oldest son, and the one with his arm around me in the above photo) came into the office early one morning to find me working away. As he waited for me to finish up he gazed lovingly at the chrysalis. The next thing you know I hear a yelp of pure joy followed by, "Mom there's a hole in the chrysalis". Lo and behold, there was. After a small amount of searching we finally located the butterfly...but wait...that's no butterfly! Horror of horrors, we had housed a moth, a MOTH, in the office, ON my desk, for the past 150 days. A moth...DISGUSTING! Garrett shares my dislike of the pesky creatures that flit about your head as you stand in the glow of the porch light on a summer evening and he wasn't all that impressed, kind of freaked out as a matter of fact. After the initial freakiness wore off we decided to do some research. Online we found photos of the caterpillar we had captured late last fall and after much searching located a photo of the moth as well. We had watched the amazing metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a lovely Spotted Tussock or Tiger Moth!
I must admit I became fond of the little fellar in his short five days in our family. Yep, the above photo is of a dead moth. I think the below zero transport to Garrett's school for show-and-tell is what cut his life short. Maybe that or the fact that he really shouldn't have emerged till early spring which in Montana is still a good, oh...three months away. In any case his life wasn't wasted. For the sake of science and the joy of discovery the little guy offered his all. I will end with a eulogy for the little guy: He was indeed a moth for all seasons! Oh, and one more thing, does anyone find it at all interesting that I've referred to the moth as a "he" in conjunction with the word "disgusting"? Hmm, tis neither here nor there, I suppose!