On Sunday, while heading out to the car, something brightly colored on one of our bushes caught my eye. It was some sort of butterfly or moth, and it wasn't moving much, just clinging to a leaf. It was HUGE. I snapped some pictures of it with Josh's cell phone camera, and filed away the thought to look up what it was later. Of course, I forgot.
While checking out the progress of my strawberry patch this afternoon, I found the same moth, still huge, and just a couple feet from where I saw it before- this time clinging to a strawberry plant. I went and got my good camera, and tried my best to get some pictures without disturbing it.
Searching Google for something when all you know is what the thing looks like is not the easiest proposition. I finally figured out what this creature is- it's a cecropia moth, apparently one of the largest moths in North America! I'd believe it! Interestingly, once these caterpillars turn into moths, they have a natural fat burner: they have no mouths, and therefore don't eat. This lady out here probably only has a few days left to live, but the cooler temperatures we had and the fact this gal hasn't moved around much has made her life longer.
I love the orange and white stripes and black dots on her abdomen. If I were a bird, I'd steer clear of this bug! Also, if I ran into one of the caterpillars of this moth, I'd steer clear, too! What a colorful, cool insect!