And while I am on the subject of hue, allow me to emphatically relay to you the neon effect of this handsome guy's wings! The neon pops! Bright dusty yellow shoulders make way for one of the livliest greens I have ever seen in the natural world, and the entire upper wing system is cloaked in a scarf of deep majestic purple. The lunar markings on the wings are aptly reflective of our night sky, with insinuations of the moon in its different phases.
I've been living with him in pupa form since November. I found his cocoon out in the yard in some leaves under the hickory. I brought him up to the house, and with some investigative worked deduced that he was probably a luna moth in the making. He lived in a box on the covered porch with some leaves and lichens for the winter, and I brought him inside a few days ago and put him into a giant 4-gallon Ball jar so that I could see him when he emerged.
With wings crumpled and hues popping, he chilled out in the Ball jar last evening while I showered and ate my dinner. I then gently secured the Ball jar into the passenger seat of my town car with the seatbelt, and we rode down to Susie and Todd's for a session of admiration. They too have been waiting for the emergence. Along with George "why do they call him Jorge?" Cooper, we shared a perfectly lovely, lightening bug lit cool mountain evening on the porch of the shack, nibbling on chocolate and watching The Big Lebowski. Just the 5 of us.
I got to give it to the guy. He must be hearty stock because after all that handling and being moved indoors and outdoors again and being put on the table to be watched bumping around in the cocoon all winter, he still had the stamina to complete full metamorphosis. When we got home late last night, I spent some quiet time with him, and ultimately placed him on the porch post just before midnight. He needed to hang like that for a while to let the blood fill his wings before he launched into the night sky. May he fly off into the hardwoods and find a special lady friend to help conceive. Good night sweet prince*.