a moth the hue of this

It appears I have a houseguest. And a slightly mysterious one at that!

Last week, while snipping a little rosemary to use for dinner, I noticed this fellow ambling along a branch. Can you see him?

I consulted with local entomologist Carol Lemmon, who reported back a few days later: “I am unable to ID this moth as I can not see the configuration of the legs in this photo. I suspect it is a looper with legs in front and in back only, although I have gone thru Dave Wagner’s book of nearly 500 photos of Caterpillars of Eastern North America and cannot find one with this sort of head spotting. I can only tell you definitely…it is a moth…probably a looper.”

Thanks Carol! I suspect my visitor has now nestled in for the long, cold winter that decided to start this week!

For sure there will be flutterings of a winged sort come spring—and transformations to look forward to!

• • •

©2012, Jen Payne; “a moth the hue of this” is the first line of an Emily Dickinson poem: “A Moth the hue of this Haunts Candles in Brazil. Nature’s Experience would make Our Reddest Second pale. Nature is fond, I sometimes think, Of Trinkets, as a Girl.”

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