|It was a pretty drive today as we made our way east on Hwy 50 to 1-15 North before finally turning on Hwy 24 East. This area of Utah is rolling hills, open farmland & lots of ranching. It was obviously a very wet winter/spring, everything is so green! We made a brief stop at the Wal-Mart in Richfield as it's been a month since we restocked our cabinets. And our windshield wiper blades came apart yesterday, so we decided we should replace them before we got in a position to need them desperately. Thunderstorms & brief moments of hail are the norm where we're headed!
We located the Wonderland RV Park with no difficulty as it sits right on the corner of where Hwy 24 & Hwy 12 intersect. It's a small, very nice park & we can certainly understand why our friends Harold & Jeanette and Gary & Arline have been here for nearly a month. They prepared dinner for us this evening and it was greatly appreciated! How nice to arrive on a travel day to great food & better company! After visiting for a couple of hours we finally all said our goodnights & headed inside. It was cooling down a bit & there were a few small flying critters about.
An hour or so later, Larry took Onyx outside & quickly came back inside to tell me to get my camera & come quick. He said there was a moth on our table about the size of a small bird. I took numerous pics & it didn't seem inclined to fly away. It took me an hour or so of Googling about before I think I finally identified the colorful creature.
I believe it is a cecrophia moth, the largest known North American moth. It has a wingspan of 5-6 inches. It is a very colorful moth and has a red body with white stripes, reddish-brown wings with crescent-shaped white marks and eyespots on the upper tips. The cercopia moth does not eat. It's only purpose it to mate. It only lives for a few weeks. The female cecropia moth lays rows of eggs on both sides of a leaf on a tree or shrub. The eggs hatch in 10-14 days and the caterpillars begin eating the host tree or shrub's leaves. The cecropia cocoon is crescent shaped and is attached to a tree branch. There is one generation of cecropia born each year. The cercopia moth is mostly nocturnal and is rarely seen in the day.
Did you notice I said it lays rows of eggs on a leaf? Well I think she thinks my NEW tablecloth is the real deal!!! Notice the shades of green leaves all over it? Trust me, if there are eggs all over it tomorrow it is gone lol! Anyway, we feel very blessed to have spotted her during her very short life. We're waiting to see if a male appears. Apparently they can smell her pheromones from up to a mile away. If they mate tonight they'll be stuck together all day tomorrow. I'll let you know if she gets her man! Goodnight....