Posts in Category: moth

Flower and Moth from a German Forest


I don’t know the name of this wildflower from the German Forest at the edge of Bavaria, or of the tiny moth. I will research them more when I get home to a stable internet connection. Both are attractive and the combination is even more so. Or that is what I think 🙂

Samsung Smart Camera WB250F in macro mode. Processed in PicSay Pro on the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Power Moth on Pickerelweed

I was really hoping, when I took the photo, that this blue pond plant had a lovely name, like Water Hyacinth, and that the bug was, as I originally assumed, a Skipper, so I could have a euphonious title (I head the word “euphonious” on a British TV comedy this week…and I have been, apparently, looking for a excuse to use it :). “Skipper on Water Hyacinth”. Now that is euphonious!

Unfortunately in the interest of accuracy, this is just common Pickerelweed, but, as some compensation, it is a Powder Moth of some kind…so we have some nice alliteration to contribute to a mellifluous title, even if it is not truly euphonious (yes, I have been at the thesaurus trying to find the spelling of euphonious. I always enjoy a little thesauric browsing before breakfast).

Samsung Smart Camera WB250F. Program and Macro focus (as opposed to the Macro Mode). I used Intelligent Zoom which increases the normal 18x zoom on the camera and maintains image quality by reducing the number of pixels captured at higher zoom ratios. This was a 10mp image (down from the native 14mp) at something in the 500mm equivalent field of view range. I then cropped it slightly for increased image scale. Processed in PicSay Pro on the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone.


Powder Moth on Meadowsweet. Happy Sunday!

The helpful folks at Project Noah’s Maine Moths Mission identified my moth as the Power Moth (Eufidonia notataria). Project Noah is an internet based network of nature observers who submit “spottings” of wildlife of all kinds, including photos and location information, from bugs to bears. When you post a spotting, it is simple to check the “help with this identification” button. Under Project Noah there are hundreds (maybe thousands) of “missions”…targeted requests for spottings of a particular kind for a particular region.  The Maine Moths Mission is one of them, and it seemed an obvious place to look for an id of a moth I had never seen before. I had the id within an hour of posting. (Project Noah has mobile apps for both iPhone and Android as well as the website… search for “Project Noah” in your app store.)

I could find little information on the moth itself, beyond its name and place in the scientific order. I still have no idea how it lives or why it lives. But it is, to my eye, a beautiful creature, from the lacy pattern on the wings to the fringe at the wing edges. The fact that it is on Meadowsweet, one of my favorite trail-side flowers of this season, is a distinct bonus, and, in the case of this image, adds to the beauty of the composition.

Samsung Smart Camera WB250F in Smart Auto…macro mode. 24mm equivalent field of view. f3.2 @ 1/500th @ ISO 100. Cropped for composition and scale and processed on the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone in PicSay Pro. Auto Enhanced by Google+.

And for the Sunday Thought. The Samsung WB250F was a pure indulgence. I love my Canon SX50HS and I could just as well have taken this image with the Canon. I did not need another camera. But I am certainly having fun with it! As a piece of photographic technology it is amazing…from its Smart Auto modes, to its excellent “no tripod required” in-camera HDR and dedicated Macro and Panorama modes. Fun. As a piece of connected technology it is even more amazing. With the touch of a few controls I can wirelessly transfer the images to my Galaxy S4 for processing and sharing (or I can do limited processing right in-camera, and upload them directly to Facebook or Google+ Photos, or email them to myself). I can share a fully processed image in a matter of moments after it is taken. From wherever I have phone service. Amazing. And so much fun!

Project Noah I just discovered yesterday while researching my Powder Moth. What an idea! A national network of dedicated nature observers and photographers feeding sighting data on all kinds of life into a central data-base where they…and the whole scientific community…can have easy and instant access. And the concept of Missions, to focus the collections, is brilliant. We are on a mission to record all the Moths of Maine. Yes. I can identify with that! And think of the possibilities. With the mobile app, you can upload an image of whatever you see and enjoy quick (if not instant) help from hundreds of enthusiasts and many experts. The day of “I don’t know” is fading fast. What I don’t know is now out there in cloud, just waiting for me to access it. My mind no longer ends at my own senses and my own experience and memory. I can almost instantly tap into the knowledge of thousands of other keen observers, stretching back a generation or more.

Of course, at times, I will only find the limits of what we, as a species of observers, know, or have shared. What does the Powder Moth eat…well, whoever knows that…if anyone does…has not made that available in the cloud just yet. 🙂 (Or not that I can find.)

And what does this all have to do with the spirit? It is the Sunday thought after all. The technology of the connected cloud is giving us a taste, right in the world of time and space, of what we experience in the spirit, behind the world of time and space. It is the core experience of the mystical in all religions…and the root of faith. We are all one. All one mind. All one experience. All one love of life and eagerness to learn and to share. And yet we are totally individual. One eye (I) in the eye (I) of all.

We are the namers of creation. We are the numberers. We are the mind that sees and shares. And we are each one and one in all. And even a technology assisted taste of that is a good thing! Happy Sunday!



Polyphemus Rescue (maybe)

On my Tuesday photopowl I had to make a stop at the grocery store. When I came back out I found this Polyphemus moth lying helpless on its side on the sidewalk near the bicycle rack where had chained up my electric scooter. This is a big moth…6 inches from wing-tip to wing-tip.

I thought it might be dead, but when I picked it up, and put it on my scooter seat for safety while I decided what to do with it (and how I could get some pictures), it fluttered down on its own energy. It was clearly weak and disorientated (perhaps stunned from an impact, and/or confused by the daylight) and had difficulty getting off its side. However, when I moved it to the shade under some trees at the edge of the parking lot, it righted itself and vibrated its wings very rapidly. I think that was a defense action. After grabbing a few shots, I moved it to deeper vegetation well back from the parking lot, where it was darker, and where there was no chance it would be stepped on by a passing shopper.

Polyphemus, like most of the big moths, do not eat as adults and only live two weeks at the longest. It is, of course, possible, even likely, that this Polyphemus was simply on its last legs anyway, and did not survive the night. In the slightly closer view you can see the very bushy antennas, which mark this specimen as a male. 

Canon SX40HS. Program with iContrast and –1 EV exposure compensation.  1) 24mm macro, plus 1.5x digital tel-converter function. f4 @ 1/160th @ ISO 100. 2) 1240mm equivalent. f5.8 @ 1/1000th @ ISO 250.

Processed in Lightroom for intensity, clarity, and sharpness.