After heavy rain last night we began our day in the garden tying up plants that needed assistance. After that there were peas to pick and process. Mixed clouds and sun made it a lovely morning for weeding. We both stopped briefly to watch a group of turkey vultures circle over our heads. They came low enough to raise the hair on the back of my neck, and for Ed to remark that he didn't think he smelled that bad. We were weeding in seperate areas of the garden when Ed said, "Becky, Come here you have to see this."
This is what I saw, a large moth , perhaps 4 inches, in the grass right next to a "wild" area that Ed has begun to clear out , but has not yet reached. I seldom get a really good look at a moth. This one was soft and furry looking. The moth was not moving much , so we got the camera, and Ed took its picture. It was around 11:00 so I headed inside to work on lunch.
Later just after noon, Ed checked the moth again. The sunshine had reached the moth, and Ed was able to take this fantastic picture. With the lower wing in view identification of the moth was possible. It's a Polyphemus moth. My caterpillar book says rose is a possible food plant for this species. Perhaps this moth was among the leaf litter under the Rugosa Rose. Thank goodness Ed's bed clearing had not reached this far. We might have missed this thrilling opportunity.
After lunch when Ed went back to the garden, the moth was gone. We were happy he could fly away, but grateful for our chance to observe him so closely!