Saturday, May 26, 2018


Something in our brain separates biological motion from wind or water movement. Looking at a windy meadow, with swaying grasses and trembling seed pods, I notice (not exactly "see", because it's on the edge of my field of vision) a scrambling, a fluttering, a flitting; something alive! I turn and look that way; there's nothing there. The critter is now sitting still, and invisible.

The camera sees better, sometimes.

A tiny moth, hanging upside-down between an old stem and a blade of grass, the legs pointing upwards and out, and now looking like bits of twigs or dead grass blades.

The moth now was moving only in response to the wind, although there was a slight blurring visible to my eyes if I looked at it directly, still not seeing the moth, just the vibration of its wings.

And I still didn't see it, although I knew where it was. The camera's limited depth of field pulls it out of the out-of-focus background; my eyes didn't find a focus point.

(Unidentified moth; photos sent to BugGuide. No response so far. There will be; they're always helpful.)


  1. I'm always catching movement out the side sliding glass door. Sometimes I "see" what it was, others I have to guess. - Margy

  2. Funny how you saw it as a moth...i saw it as a type of crane fly. When I searched for "crane fly moth", I saw plume moth as the answer. Maybe that can help narrow the search?

  3. This one looks like a good match.
    So you probably already knew it was a plume moth, but was wanting a more specific id.


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