Cecropia Watch, Pt. 4

She kept on pumping . . .

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 . . . and in a few hours, she looked like this: absolutely gorgeous! But not yet ready to fly. She needed several more hours to let her newly-expanded wings harden.

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I watched her all afternoon. Her markings were complex and stunning.

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Alas, I went away for a weekend and missed the last two moths eclosing. All I found were their light, crumpled husks.

The bittersweet thing about these moths? They live only a few days--long enough to find each other, mate, and lay eggs. They don't even have mouthparts to eat.

Their main purpose is to be gorgeous enough to produce more of themselves. And, if they are unlucky, to feed a few birds.  

And, I think, to give us joy.

My profound thanks to Julie for sending me the cocoons, and to the moths themselves, for allowing me to watch them in all their mysterious magnificence.

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