"Honey, Come Look At This....."

9:08 AM

Whenever I hear my husband say those words I know I'll usually be looking at something cool and unexpected in the next few seconds. Friday morning was no exception. Chris was getting ready to leave and noticed something unusual hanging out by the door:

 A stunning Luna Moth! I was so excited!! One of the artists in the Imaginary Visit to the Garden class had painted one and several of lamented we had only seen these in photos. I'm sure you can imagine my surprise to find one perched by our door. I hustled back inside to grab my camera and sketchbook:
Luna Moth on
Strathmore Aquarius
Watercolor Paper
In my hurry to get the moth painted, I managed to drop my palette. Fortunately, I was standing on concrete when it happened so the paints did not get muddy/gritty/dirty. Turns out I didn't need to worry as the Luna bug hung around until the next day, when this one showed up:

Two Luna Moths in one weekend when we've never seen them before? What was going on? Was it simply a case of courtship? Don't know. When we woke this morning, the first Luna had taken flight, but the second Luna is still hanging out in the exact same spot.

Bugs and moths are generally not good "posers" as they're busy going about the business of life. Two things made it possible for me to capture this gorgeous creature in my sketchbook (besides the fact that it hung out for a couple of days)...first, I keep a kit ready to go all the time with sketchbook, pencil, waterbrush, and watercolor palette. I didn't have to search for my "stuff" so that I could get started. I also took a photo first so that if he had fluttered off, as I fully expected him to, I would still have material to work from. The second reason is the watercolor paint I used and I'll be sharing more on that in the next post.

Some Luna Moth facts for you:
• Luna Moths only live seven days.
• They do not have mouths so they do not eat.
• Depending on the climate they live in, they may produce up to three generations in that 7 day span. In warmer climates, more generations are created.

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20 Creative Thought(s)

  1. Wow, you are really lucky! Did a great painting of it too. I wonder what their purpose is if they don't eat. Maybe it's their offspring that do something (like eat up certain plants or bugs or pollinate). Seven days sure doesn't seem very long but I hear it's similar to flies. Glad we get more time here!

  2. Stunning - great description. Not great "posers" indeed.

  3. Fantastic find! They look other-worldy don't they - so their name suits them perfectly. x

  4. Wow.. how cool is that. You did a great job. I need to take note. Get me a set up like yours to use on the spur of the moment. I am always hunting for something and I have missed so much because I dont have one ready to go or take with me. I usually just grab camera but you do lose the moment & feel that the camera doesnt capture.

  5. So beautiful! What a neat experience. Even the name--luna moth--is pretty. (More "visitors"?)

  6. Wow! Lucky you....Two!! Beautiful sketch and great info!

  7. Amazing, Laure!! I think she (okay, or he) chose your door in order to have a portrait done! And it's a beauty!!!

  8. What fun to find one in your own garden. Luna moths seem so ethreal. You captured the colors beautifully.

  9. Wow, how cool is that, BEAUTIFUL, and love the bits of info, too!

  10. Timaree, I figure they must be pollinators for something in particular as it seems a short life. As far as I can tell, the next generation is just like the parents. I have to agree, glad we have more than a week!

    Thanks, Mary, birds, bees, deer, just about anything in nature doesn't "pose" well!

    I thought that too, Gillian, very beautiful colors but a bit odd.

    Thanks, Cris, having a kit set up and ready to go makes all the difference in the world!

    Thanks, KJ, maybe they are more of the visitors...not sure.

    Thanks, Pam!

    Hmmm, okay, I can go with that, Betty!! Thank you!

    Thanks, Lisa, they do seem other-worldish to me, too!

    Thanks, Kate!

  11. Wow - what a treat for you to find this (well for your hubby to find it and share it with you). How timely for you to paint it as well with our garden class.

    I've heard of them before but I've never seen them so it was quite interesting to see both the photos and your sketches. Thanks for sharing!!

  12. Great sketch Laure - and how fortunate to see two in as many days.

  13. Fascinating facts about them, Laure! I had one that sat on a wall outside our place a number of years ago, and I put my hand next to it when I took a photo to try to show the size of that thing--they're really something, aren't they!? Love your painting of it!

  14. Totally cool! Talk about synchronicity! Beautiful photos and painting - and I never those things about luna moths, thanks. We had a large luna hang out near our front door about 10 years ago; just stayed there for a day or two, then disappearred. Would love to have that experience again!

  15. ...stunning, Laure! Matty and I saw one last year on a tree deep in the forests of Shawnee. They take your breath away...the sea-foam green color is so soothing. I wish one would come and hang out on our house!! :-)

  16. That is so wonderful! Lovely colors and you've captured it so great in your watercolor.

  17. Beautiful moth and interesting facts. I have never seen one either. Didn't know they had such short life span. Your painting looks just like the photo!

  18. Beautiful! Love the moth, love the painting, love nature!

  19. Laure,

    I can not believe that I missed this post. Awesome creature and of course great sketches. Shelley

  20. What a brilliant opportunity. And such perfect models, not moving for all that time.

    I like it when Nature becomes a temporary house guest.


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