White-lined Sphinx Moth
Yesterday I poked my nose across the fence and asked my neighbor, Lois, if she had seen any hummingbird moths this year. She responded in the negative and asked if I knew the reason. I didn't.
Across the street lives Bill. He in his eighties and sees and knows everything. So I mosied on over there and asked his opinion.
"By Golly," he quipped, when he finally understood what I was asking. (He is nearly deaf), "You know I haven't seen any of those critters, either."
Today was a long day -- Friday is a love-hate day for me. I work until 6, and then I come home and usually get to have dinner somewhere with our friends Bud, Vee, and little K. Tonight we ordered pizza. Before they and the pizza showed up, I scampered out to the back fence to empty my small counter top composter into the big black bin.
AND GUESS WHAT I ENCOUNTERED. You betcha - the first White-Lined Sphinx Moth of the season. The camera was sitting beside the computer where the hubby had downloaded eleventy jillion pictures of the pond he'd taken this afternoon from every angle possible. (Seriously, he took 53 shots. I counted them.)
Once the camera was in hand I rushed back out there and got ONE PICTURE before it zoomed away across the fence. I'm totally amazed that I didn't jiggle the camera and get it blurry.
These moths are so pretty that you just can't imagine how truly ugly they are in the caterpillar stage. I've seen them many times on my tomato plants, eating them right down to the stem.
I went out to the internet and picked up this picture, so you would believe it.
I've seen them up to four inches long. They splat like rotton fruit when you drop them on the sidewalk. I have not seen any caterpillars this season and had decided that there had been some failure of the larvae to survive last winter.
Well, we know one did. Beautiful, too!