Ran into this beautiful lady while on my scout today; she's a Luna Moth Caterpillar, named after the Roman Moon Goddess. Ironically, she's not endangered, but it's only the second time that I've seen one of her out here.
She's a member of the Giant Silk Moth family, where her range in the U.S. stretches from the Great Plains, eastward , from Maine to Florida; where at this time of year she's in search of a place to cocoon up for her winter slumber.
She has a beautiful, but tragic story as when she reaches this stage,the 5th instar, she'll emerge from her cocoon in the spring transformed into this gorgeous large winged moth (4th slide). She has large eye spots on her wings which act as a mechanism of confusion for her predators, mimicking the eyes of an owl. Similarly, the long "tails" extending from her wings are thought to disrupt Bats echo location systems.
The tragedy of her story however lies in the fact that upon her emergence in the spring, her life will be woefully short; literally averaging just one week. It's so short that as a moth she'll only have vestigial mouth parts as feeding isn't necessary for a life so brief. In that week however, she'll accomplish much; She'll travel distances, evade predators, seek out a mate, lay her eggs and then under a green canopy, alone and in silence, expire.
I think nature is the greatest of teachers and I believe as so many indigenous peoples do, that she places plants and creatures here to teach us about this world and this life.
The lesson of the Luna Moth is one of the fineiteness of life; yet however short it may be, that like her, you can endure and accomplish so much.
She's a constant reminder of the briefness of it all as she whispers in our ear to live as nothing in this world lasts forever... #bushlife #bushcraft #outdoors #outdoorlife #firearms #usa #men #archaeologist #primitivelnowledge #nature #ancientways #explore #adventure #neverstopexploring #neverstoplearning #americansavage #survival #survivalist #woodsman #instalike #bushcrafting #wilderness #instagood #history #conservation #Easternwoodlands #moths #lunamoth #caterpillar #moth