Monday, February 27, 2012

Luna Moth

Luna Moth
Two years ago my wife and I went on a guided photography walk as part of the Great Dismal Swamp Birding Festival in Suffolk, VA. It is really a nice place in spite of the name (although you don't want to be there during mosquito season).  After birding in the morning, we went to an afternoon photography class taught by a friend from the Hampton Roads Digital Shutterbug Club; someone we knew to be a good bird photographer and frequent visitor to the swamp.  The class included a walk on a 0.5 mile trail behind the visitor center through a pine forest.  Birds were pretty quiet by that time but we did stumble upon a Luna Moth hanging onto a low twig on the ground.  It was very cooperative and let everyone in the group take pictures.  A few of us even circled back around to get some more.  I only had my birding lens with me so I was standing back about 10 feet so I could focus.  After my wife got her shots, I borrowed her macro lens and got in close, laying on the ground just a foot or so away from it.  The moth has a wingspan of about 4-5 inches.  In the image above you can see how hairy the moth is.  In the one below, I looked in on this little curl that the moth has on its wings.  I'm not sure what is for (I would appreciate a comment if you know), but is an interesting pattern. 
Curl on Luna Moth Wing
You can check out other interesting close-up shots at Macro Monday over on Lisa's Chaos.

And if you are still here, you must be wondering if we even did see birds on the photography walk.  And we did.  As the first group of folks left the moth, they saw an Eastern Screech Owl sitting in a hole in a tree.  I managed to get a decent photograph of it before returning to the moth.
Eastern Screech Owl, Great Dismal Swamp, VA


  1. Lovely!!! Dropping by from Macro Monday!
    Here's mine:

  2. These are amazing shots! The clarity of the luna moth is great.

  3. Fantastic details in the image of the luna moth.

    Happy Macro Monday

    1. Thanks. It was really nice getting to see one so close up.